|Didim Seyahat Local Transportation Company contact numbers:|
|Didim Central||90 256 811 17 79|
|Altinkum||90 256 813 10 64 - Fax: 90 256 813 45 49|
|Didim central roundabout||90 256 811 57 27|
|Mavisehir||90 256 825 83 26|
|Soke||90 256 518 44 25|
|Izmir otogar||90 232 444 05 62|
There are other big coach companies with organized scheduled transfers to Didim:
Didim is accessible from the Greek island Samos via kusadasiand Kos via Bodrum, The cruise ships usually sail from Venice or Piraeus, daily from April 1st till October 31st (two-hours\' journey). The harbor of Kusadasi is one of the biggest port of Turkey, visited by well-known cruise companies. And the harbour of Bodrum is very famous wit its wooden yacht competition held on late summer. It is a popular stop of Mediterranean cruises.
Also, Turkish Maritime Lines makes regular departures from and to Turkey. For a detailed information you may contact to Turkish maritime offices in Turkey and the representatives abroad.
Turkey has inter rail connections with many European cities. If you are coming to Didim by inter-rail, your direct route will be Istanbul - Izmir, then Izmir - Selcuk. Selcuk is 20 km away from Soke. There are trains running 2 times a day. You can easily reach to Didim with minibuses in every 20 minutes from Soke bus station. You can learn exact departure times and the frequency of those routes from the given phone numbers of Turkish National Railways (TCDD).
Haydarpasa Tel: (216) 348 80 20-21
Basmane Tel: (212) 484 53 53
Centrum Tel: (232) 892 60 06
It is not advisable to come to Didim by taxi. You\'d better book it before you come to resort. There are travel agents i.e providing airport transfers.
Best way to discover this beautiful country is to hire a car for one or more days. You can book excursions for a guided exploration of culture, history, fun. There are many travel agents organising guided tours as well as hire cars, minibusses, Jeeps according to your cohoice and to the number of people if you are having a group holiday.
If you are late in the evening and trying to get to Altinkum from Izmir or Bodrum Direction, you can easily take a coach to Ak-Yenikoy Dalyani where is a cab station and shops open till late so you can call a cab (taxi=taksi)
Companies have lesser number of coaches in winter time which is not as bussy as summers to Didim.
Summer time table starts at middle of April-May for more and frequent coaches. In winter coach companies decrease the number of their coaches doing transfers to Didim.
Source: Didim Guide
Fethiye with its cultural wealth, natural beauties and geography, is among the important tourism centres of Turkey. It is famous for its works of art belong to Persians, Lycians, Carians and Romans. This charming county is in a bay within Fethiye Gulf where both large and small islands are scattered. The rear of the bay is surrounded by pine forests.
The ancient name of Fethiye, which was a coastal city at the borders of Lycia-Caria, is Telmessos. There is not definite information about the foundation of this Ancient city. According to the first written records, it has come into existence in the 5th century B.C. Telmessos, separate from Lycia, survived as an independent city for a long time. The city experienced the rule of Persia, Alexander the Great, Rome, Pergamum Kingdom, Byzantium, Menteseogullari Principality and Ottoman State respectively.
Mediterranean climate, which is hot and dry during summers and warm and rainy during winters, is dominant in the region. Temperature, which is approximately 30 degrees during summer months, is generally over 10 degrees during winter. Sea water temperature never decreases under 16 degrees during each season.
Where to Visit
The Museum has two exhibition halls namely, Archaeology Hall and Ethnography Hall. In the Archaeology Hall, there are ceramic works and statues. Among these, there is a Young Girl\'s Statue with a Dove and a trilingual stele, which has played an important role to analyse the Lycian language. Hand woven works special to the region, silver jewellery and dastar (head scarf) loom are exhibited in the Ethnography Hall. In the open exhibition, big stone works of art, tombs and Izraza Monument can be seen. The Museum is open everyday except Monday from 09.00 to 18.00.
There are the remains of churches, chapels and civilian buildings of Byzantium Period on the island reached by boats from Ölüdeniz (Blue Lagoon) and Gemiler Bay. The island is important due to having been one of the first centres where Christianity began to spread.
At a distance of 40 km from Fethiye, Araxa was founded on the place where the Ancient Xanthos Brook flows. This wonderful natural water spring has been the subject of many mythological stories. In the ancient city within the borders of today\'s Ören village, rampart ruins, a public bath and the water canals of Byzantine Period, have survived up to the present day.
At a distance of 45 km from Fethiye, Tlos is one of the six big cities of the Lycian Federation. The sport centre of the federation is also Tlos. It is known as the city where mythological hero Bellerophon and his winged flying horse Pegasus lived. Determined as the oldest city of Lycian Region by the archaeological excavations, Tlos dates back to the time before 2000 B.C. The graveyard on the natural rocks of the city acropolis was filled with most elaborate house-type tombs Of Lycia. It is known that the king-type tomb in the necropolis is dedicated to Bellerophon.
Situated 55 km far from Fethiye, Lettoon is the religious centre of the Lycia Federation. It is well known for three temples dedicated to the Goddess Leto, Goddess Artemis and God Apollo. Archaeological excavations have been carrying on since 1962 in Lettoon and the churches of the early Christian period are uncovered.
Pinara (Minare Village):
It is at the foothills of Mount Akdag, 55 km from Fethiye. One of the most biggest cities of Lycia Federation, Pinara is known as the city where the first beauty contest is held. The temple, dedicated to the Goddess Aphrodite, also draws attention in the city as it was built in an unusual architectural style. Hundreds of public tombs in the shape of pigeon holes make necropolis unique.
It is at a distance of 25 km from Fethiye within the borders of Üzümlü village. It is known as the last city joined to the Lycian Federation. The city, was quite destroyed due to natural reasons arising from its different geography. The city with its theatre, agora, complex of stadium- public bath and monumental tombs, unearthed after the excavations carried out by Fethiye Museum, has become very popular in recent years.
Kayaköy was a settlement region of Rums (Greeks of Turkish Nationality) in the 14th century. It was founded on the lands of ancient city Karmillassos which had been demolished almost completely excluding a few home-type tombs due to earthquakes. Its ancient name is Levissi. Becoming united with the people of surrounding five Turkish villages and teaching humanity on the concepts of friendship, brotherhood, and peace throughout its history, Kayaköy is one of the most important regions to be proud of. According to the agreement of population exchange signed between Turkish and Greek governments in 1922, Rums living in Kayaköy were exchanged by Turks living in the western Thrace.
Telmessos Antique Theater
As mentioned in the ancient sources, there was a big theatre in Telmessos. During the drill excavations carried on by the Directorate General of Fethiye Museum in 1993, seats of the theatre were found 3-4 meters under the soil layers formed because of erosion. After the excavations concluded in 1995, all the extant remains of the theatre were re-surfaced. Built in the early Roman Period and repaired in 2000 AD, it is known that the theatre with a capacity of 5000 seats was used as an arena. At present, the theatre has a seating capacity of 1500 people.
The Mosque was built by Cezayirli Hasan Pasha in 1792. Kemer Bridge, Pasha Inn on Yayla road and Aqueducts in Yaka village were also acquired to Fethiye by Hasan Pasha.
Main inns of Fethiye; are Ilica Inn (on the Üzümlü road), Incir Inn, Karatoprak Inn (on Inbecik road), Pasha Inn on Kemer - Seki road, Daydur Inn and Naldöken Inn.
Lycia Rock Tombs:
Fethiye with its 4th century works of art remaining from Lycia period attracts attention. These are the tombs, carved out on natural rocks, which became the symbol of the district. Amintas which is the most elaborate of these tombs can be reached via many regular stairs. It can also be seen easily from the plain below and the admiration for its greatness increases when approached. At the centre of the left-side column, Herpamias\' son Amintas \' was written in the alphabet of 4th century B.C. The identity of this man is not known exactly. There are many tombs worth to see in the district. The most important one of these is the tomb which belongs to the Lycian Period. The tomb, ascending from the sea, has an interesting appearance. On the front side of two storeyed tomb there are quadrangle carvings resembling wooden beams and a gothic style arched cover. Both sides of the cover were ornamented with frescoes depicting wars, and it is thought that these are related to the life of Amintas.
It is supposed that the castle, ascending in the south of the district, belongs to the Knights of St. John. There are two small and simple rock tombs on the east side of the hill excluding a few writings carved out on the walls and a cistern of which date is indefinite.
Ölüdeniz (Blue Lagoon):
Ölüdeniz, described as the Eden bestowed by God to the World\', has a 3 km long beach. One can appreciate fully the beauty of swimming in a colour harmony of light and dark blue combined with light and dark green. Having an appearance of naturally lagoon with its tepid and standing water during ten months of the year, Ölüdeniz is one of the most preferred destinations by both local and foreign tourists.
Kumburnu separates Ölüdeniz from Belcekiz Beach which are at a distance of 14 km from Fethiye. There are many boarding-houses, camps, motels and restaurants that are open during each season of the year.
Kidrak with its sandy beaches surrounded by pine trees and crystal clear water is at a distance of 3 km from Ölüdeniz and Belcekiz Beach.
Sweet coastal village at the end of Kidrak road, is a resort place for wanderers with its wild nature, appropriate climate, friendly people and its attractiveness.
Kelebekler Valley (Butterfly Valley) :
At a distance of 5-7 km from Ölüdeniz, this interesting canyon is surrounded by approximately 350 meter high mountains. It takes its name from the butterflies called as Jarsey Tiger\' and seen between June and September. Transportation to the bay, being an Earth Eden with its waterfall flows both in summer and winter, large beach, clear water, brightly shining pebbles and oleanders decorating the environs, is provided by boats from Ölüdeniz. Possibilities like a camping area with tent sites, restaurant, bar, shower cabinets, changing cubicles, etc. are offered in the valley which is the meeting place of world wanderers.
Saklikent (Hidden City):
It is 50 km from Fethiye, next to the Karaçay Brook which forms the province borders of Mugla-Antalya. It is a unique natural wonder hiding within a 18 km long magnificent canyon of which height reaches to 600 meter in some places. With its steep rock cliffs, plane trees, clearly flowing spring waters, it is a unique tourism centre which offers possibilities for nature lovers such as mountaineering, trekking and swimming.
Yakapark, formed by nature with human labour and creativity, is a unique recreation spot where you will experience memorable moments in a mysterious atmosphere with bird sings and sound of water. It can easily be accessed via 2 km road from Yaka Village.
IIt is 30 km far from Fethiye on Fethiye-Mugla highway. Having an appearance of a small charming fisherman town, Göcek has recently become one of the important centres of yacht tourism. Besides its natural harbour, it is a unique tourism heaven with its numerous islands and bays, ruin places and pine forested hills. The town with its marina and increased number of modern facilities, is at a distance of 20 km from Dalaman Airport.
Being one the important resort places of Blue Voyagers, the region is named as Inside the Darkness\' by fishermen. It is consisted of islands and Kapidagi Peninsula adorned with numerous beautiful bays. Yassica Islands, Hamam Bay, Kursunlu Bay, Yavansu, Bedri RahmiBay, Tersane Island, Göbün Bay, Boynuzbükü, Göcek Island, Domuz Island, Zeytin Island, Kizil Island, reached via daily tours from Fethiye and Göcek, are also named as "12 Islands" within the region.
Besides the two big holiday villages of the district, there are also natural bays namely Mempasa, Küçük Samanlik, Boncuklu, Kuleli, Aksazlar, Akvaryum, Turunç Pinari on the peninsula to where local people have daily tours.
It is 17 km far from Fethiye on Mugla-Fethiye highway. With its frequent pine trees stretching to the sea, the bay displays a beautiful harmony of blue and green. In the bay, there is a forest resting area offering the services of car park, buffet, shower cabinet and toilet. It is an ideal excursion place and a camping area with tent sites.
Günlük (Küçük Kargi):
The bay is at a distance of 18 km from Fethiye on the Mugla highway, and is ornamented with rarely seen sweetgum trees having a nice smell. The daily excretion of sweetgum trees is used in the treatment of itchiness, asthma, bronchitis, ulcer and gastric diseases. It is also used in the industry of perfumery.
Being one of the popular places of the district in respect of tourism, Çalis Beach is 5 km from the district centre, opposite of the Sovalye Island. Along the 4 km long beach, there are hotels, boarding-houses, camp sites and restaurants. The Beach is well known as one of the incubation areas of sea turtles, Caretta Carettas. It is also one of the favourite places to view the sunset and play water sports.
Hisarönü - Ovacik
These two typical Turkish villages in Ölüdeniz (Blue Lagoon) have recently become shopping and entertainment centres providing accommodation. At present, these villages near draw the attention of especially foreign tourists.
Interest in paragliding, being performed by 6 travel agencies from the top of 1975 meters high Mount Babadag in Fethiye, has been increasing day by day all over the world. Because of its rich and spread thermal points, characteristic of flying ascending after jumping, vegetation diversity in the environs, beautiful scenery of Ölüdeniz (Blue Lagoon), slight slope to the sea and many more reasons like these, Babadag is a paragliding centre unrivalled in the region.
Diving tours are being organised by many diving training centres and clubs in Fethiye.
Rafting and Canoe trips in Esen and Dalaman brooks are being organised by travel agencies.
What to Buy
Rock Carpets woven by local people, head scarves with grape motifs, saddlebags and sacks made of wool and Karaçulha rugs can be bought in shops and bazaars of Fethiye.
Don\'t Leave Without
Without seeing Ölü Deniz (Blue Lagoon),
Without visiting Kelebekler Valley (Butterfly Valley),
Without eating fish in Göcek,
Without seeing Kayaköy,
Without staying in a hair tent in plateau
Source: Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Wikipedia, Fethiye Life
Foça, which is 70 km. north - east of Izmir, is one of the most important centers amongst 12 Ion cities, established at Aegean coasts by Ions. Foça, besides its historical and archeological importance, is a mythological settlement whose name is mentioned in Homeros epic.
One of the most important centers, established by Ions, who have established numerous settlements here, including Smyrna, and who are escaped from Dor invasion of Greece, is Foça. Antic Foça city is included by 12 Ion union, is at the Aiolis region. Foça, who took Antic city Phokaia name from "seals", was an important harbor and had an important naval forces at their era. Foça, had established colonies in cities at eastern costs of Marsala and Spain, Velia near Pastum and Alain of Corsica with its naval fleet. Foça had lived Persia, Alexander the Great, Genevians and Ottoman eras.
Phokaia city, which had entered into development period, beginning from 7th century B. C., had shown great improvement in sailing according to "Father of History", Heredot. Phokaians, who were using fast ships with 50 shovels and 500 passenger transportation power, were the first Helens who go for long sea voyage. They have introduced Adriatic Etruria, Iberia and Tartessos to Helen world.
Totally Mediterranean climate is reigning in Foça. It passes as hot and dry during summers and warm and rainy during winters. It takes a windy sea weather from three sides. Average temperature of summer months is 26 degrees, and its sea water temperature is 22 degrees. Hottest months of summer are July and August.
Where to Visit
Siren Rocky Place
It is mentioned in Homeros epic, and described as rocks to where ships who loose their way crashes. Biggest one of these rocky place, composed of islands which reminds like seal fishes is Orak Island Rocky Place.
Seytan Hamami (Satan\'s Hamam)
Tomb type structure at the feet of Çan peak, is known as Seytan Hamami (Satan\'s Hamam). It is 2 km. away from province center.
Bes Kapilar Castle
This antic castle is given to Manuel Zacharna from Genevese by Michel Paleoloc and its ramparts are repaired by Genevan people within time. After join of Phokaia to Ottoman land on 1455, ramparts are repaired and nine of them have been equipped with towers which can be spotted today. Part, which is used as open air Theater today in Bes Kapilar was "boathouse". According to the inscription over entrance door, this repair is done between 1538 - 1539 by Silahtar Iskender Aga, woodsman of the Sultan Mustafa Han, who was Saruhan State Principal between 1533 and 1541, son of Magnificient Süleyman.
External Castle Castle
Referred as "External Castle or Genevese Castle" at "Castle Bay" at south west of Foça, according to the sources, is constructed as a cutthroat by Ottomans on a strategic point to guard the region on 1678. Castle which is on a cape, is separated from the continent via a huge trench with the aim of guarding. During underwater archeological studies, stone shots are found at the bottom of the sea in front of the castle. It is thought that these shots are fired via catapults from castle to enemy ships.
It is on the Eski Adliye Sokak within Castle. Mosque is a structure which had lost its uniqueness while reaching today. On 1455, after the conquest of Foça, it was constructed by Fatih Sultan Mehmet. During its initial construction, it was holding the classical Ottoman architectural style.
It is within castle. Construction date and constructing person not known mosque, is showing all of the characteristics of late period Ottoman architecture style. A formerly added water tank with fountain (Sadirvan) is present at the west of the structure.
Hafiz Süleyman Aga Small Mosque
Structure, known as Süleyman Aga Mescidi among public, is constructed by Foça Castle Guard, Hamzaoglu Mustafa on 1548. But it is understood from today\'s appearance that structure had been variously repaired during latter periods.
Only two Turkish baths could survive from Ottoman period. Both of them are in the Atatürk District. Turkish bath on the corner of 115 and 116 streets, can be classified as dome at the middle, horizontal heated, double gaped Turkish Bath. Its undressing part is completely demolished. Other Turkish bath in 118 numbered street, is highly damaged. It has a different architecture compared with known Turkish Baths, it is thought that this is constructed later than the other one.
This is an island group, composed of six desolate islands in front of Foça. These are: Orak Island, Incir Island, Kartdere Island, Fener Island, Hayirsiz Island and Metalik Island. There is a long bushy beach at the south coast of Orak Island, and also sheer cliffs with 80 meter high in Orak and Hayirsiz, Kartdere Islands. Especially Incir Island is used as picnic area and beach by tourists and natives. Islands and surrounding bays, shelters one of the last Mediterranean seal colonies in Turkey.
Tas Ev (Rock House)
This rocky monument tomb rising at the side of the road 10 km. away from Foça, is half cut. Structure, constructed under Persia impact, is constructed under Lycia - Lydia tradition, and dated on 4th century B. C..
Friends of sailors of Foça, who did not leave sailors alone during sailors\' struggles against sea for centuries, are sweet seals. Mediterranean seals, whose total number in the world is approximately between 350 and 400, are only living in Turkey, Greece and North - Western African coasts. Some portion of Mediterranean seals are settled in islands surrounding Foça. In spite of increasing tourism and fishing, they are using the caverns, coasts in these islands with the aim of bringing forth juveniles, to bring up their juveniles, to rest and sun themselves. Mediterranean seals, whose name is " Monachus Monachus" in Latin, needs to land, and signs of human on their residential areas annoy them. This specie is one of the 12 mammals who are under the danger of annihilation of its generation on the world.
For protection of Mediterranean seals living in Foça islands, it is forbidden to come near more than 2 miles to islands between Aslanburnu and Deveboynu Cape, also to come near more than 100 meters to Siren Rocky Places and Orak Island, on where seals are seen.
Income of Foça public is based on fishing as much as tourism. The only unchanged truth of Foça\'s people for centuries is to earn their living from sea. Foça\'s people, who are fisherman like their ancestors are trusting and free. Region, according to richness of fish kinds, is preserving its importance at Aegean coasts. It is possible to find tasteful fishes, like red mullet, coral fish, Chrysophrys aurata, sea bass, grey mullet, whiting, as daily, fresh and cheap by means of fishermen of Foça. While fishermen are sipping their teas during the redness of sunset, fishes collected by their nets are being prepared in restaurants for serving to the visitors of Foça.
What to Eat
Traditional Foça kitchen includes all of the meals, made at Western Anatolian coasts and Aegean islands with its general characteristics. In addition to this, some of Foça unique tastes cooked with fish kinds, sea foods, olive, olive oil, artichoke and wild herbs are at the following: Grilled Sardine, Fish with Yogurt, Stuffed Calamary, Stuffed Fish, Fish Soap, Fish Paça, Artichoke with Lamb Meat, Stuffed Artichoke with Olive Oil can be listed between meals of the region.
Great salads, appetizers and pastry fillings are prepared from herbs like arapsaçi, rezene, tarakotu ( ignelik ), turpotu, radika, isirgan otu, ebegümeci, wild herbs which grew up in Foça and environment.
Don\'t Leave Without
Seeing Stone Home monumental tombs,
Visiting Foça Islands giving shelter to Mediterranean seals,
Eating fresh sea crops.
Source: Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Istanbul was known as the city on the seven hills. Whether Constantine the Great was actually aware of the fact that the new city was, founded on seven hills remains uncertain.
The seven hills, all located in the area within the walls, first appeared when the valleys of the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus were opened up during the Secondary and Tertiary periods. In the Ottoman, as in the earlier Byzantine period, each hill was surmounted by monumental religious buildings.
The first hill on which the ancient city of Byzantium was founded, begins from Seraglio Point and extends over the whole area containing Hagia Sophia, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque and Topkapi Palace.
On the second hill are to be found the Nuruosmaniye Mosque, Grand Bazaar and cemberlitas. The second hill is divided from the first by a fairly deep valley running from Babiali on the east Eminonu.
The third hill is now occupied by the main buildings of Istanbul University, the Mosque of Beyazit to the south and the Mosque and Complex of Suleymaniye to the north. The southern slopes of the hill descend to Kumkapi and Langa.
The fourth hill on which stood the Church of the Holy Aposties and, subsequently, the Mosque of Mehmet the Conqueror, slopes down rather steeply to the Golden Horn on the north and, rather more gently, to Aksaray on the south.
On the fifth hill we find the Mosque of Sultan Selim. The fifth and the sixth hills are separated by the valley running down on the west to Balat on the shore of the Golden Horn.
On the sixth hill are to be found the districts of Edirnekapi and Ayvansaray Its gentle slopes run out beyond the line of the defense walls.
The seventh hill extends from Aksaray to the city defense walls and the Marmara. It is a broad hill with three summits producing a triangle with apices at Topkapi, Aksaray, and Yedikule.
"There, God and human, nature and art are together, they have created such a perfect place that it is valuable to see." Lamartine\'s famous poetic line reveals his love for Istanbul, describing the embracing of two continents, with one arm reaching out to Asia and the other to Europe.
Istanbul, once known as the capital of capital cities, has many unique features. It is the only city in the world to straddle two continents, and the only one to have been a capital during two consecutive empires - Christian and Islamic. Once capital of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul still remains the commercial, historical and cultural pulse of Turkey, and its beauty lies in its ability to embrace its contradictions. Ancient and modern, religious and secular, Asia and Europe, mystical and earthly all co-exist here.
Its variety is one of Istanbul\'s greatest attractions: The ancient mosques, palaces, museums and bazaars reflect its diverse history. The thriving shopping area of Taksim buzzes with life and entertainment. And the serene beauty of the Bosphorus, Princes Islands and parks bring a touch of peace to the otherwise chaotic metropolis.
Istanbul , one of the great historical cities of the world, is the only city in the world located upon two continents with one arm reaching out to Asia and the other arm to Europe. Through the city\'s heart runs the sea channel called the Bosphorus which reaches north to The Black Sea and south to the Marmara Sea. Istanbul is located in the Marmara region of Turkey and is a major seaport city as well as an industrial, commercial, educational and financial center and trade center. Manufactures include ship building, glass, textiles, shoes and cement. The city\'s inhabitants is about twelve million.
The city is divided into three parts - the old city , the new city and the Asiatic side. The old town and new town, which encompass the greater part of the city, are located in Europe. The Asiatic side can be reached from the European side by two bridges, the Bosphorus Bridge, one of the world\'s longest suspension bridges and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. The Old City and the New City are separated by the Golden Horn, an inlet of the Bosphorus. It is a natural channel seven km long and is connected by two bridges, the Galata Bridge and Atatürk Bridge.
The old city, where the majority of historical monuments are found, lies along the Golden Horn. The most famous of these monuments are St.Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, The Wall of Theodosius, Topkapi Palace, Suleymaniye Mosque, Underground Cistern, St.Eirene, St.Saviour in Chora, Archeological Museum, Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market.
The new part of the city displays a modern impression of Istanbul with its skyscrapers and luxurious shopping centers, but, at the same time, one is reminded of Istanbul\'s history by the wooden houses bordering the Bosphorus and historical sites such as Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, Galata Tower, Nusretiye Mosque, Clock Tower, Yildiz Palace, Rumeli Fortress, etc.
The Asiatic side of the city is a mixture of modern houses, lovely wooden villas as well as historical sites such as Anadolu Fortress, Beylerbeyi Palace, Kucuksu Kasri, Hidiv Kasri, Leanders Tower, Cinili Mosque, etc.
Within the urban district of Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara, there are nine islands, called Princess Islands, where Byzantine Princes used to be exiled. The largest and the most popular one is Buyuk Ada, because the island is larger and there are many things to see and do, such as dining in the fish restaurants, visiting places to worship (mosque, churches, synagogues), fishing, swimming, hiking, donkey riding, cycling, boating, touring the island by horse and carriage, and picnicking. The island is famous for wooden mansions, well-kept flower gardens and acres and acres of pine trees. The rest of the popular islands are Kinali Ada, Burgaz Ada, Heybeli Ada, and Sedef Ada.
Adalar, Avcilar, Bagcilar, Bahçelievler, Bakirköy, Besiktas, Bayrampasa, Beykoz, Beyoglu, Eminönü, Eyüb, Fatih, Gaziosmanpasa, Kadiköy, Kâgithane, Kartal, Küçükçekmece, Pendik, Sariyer, Sisli, Ümraniye, Üsküdar, Zeytinburnu, Büyükçekmece, Çatalca, Silivri, Sile, Esenler, Güngören, Maltepe, Sultanbeyli, Tuzla
Golden Horn: This horn-shaped estuary divides European Istanbul. One of the best natural harbours in the world, it was once the centre for the Byzantine and Ottoman navies and commercial shipping interests. Today, attractive parks and promenades line the shores, a picturesque scene especially as the sun goes down over the water. At Fener and Balat, neighbourhoods midway up the Golden Horn, there are entire streets filled with old wooden houses, churches, and synagogues dating from Byzantine and Ottoman times. The Orthodox Patriarchy resides at Fener and a little further up the Golden Horn at Eyup, are some wonderful examples of Ottoman architecture. Muslim pilgrims from all over the world visit Eyup Camii and Tomb of Eyup, the Prophet Mohammed\'s standard bearer, and it is one of the holiest places in Islam. The area is a still a popular burial place, and the hills above the mosque are dotted with modern gravestones interspersed with ornate Ottoman stones. The Pierre Loti Cafe, atop the hill overlooking the shrine and the Golden Horn, is a wonderful place to enjoy the tranquility of the view.
Beyoglu and Taksim: Beyoglu is an interesting example of a district with European-influenced architecture, from a century before. Europe\'s second oldest subway, Tunel was built by the French in 1875, must be also one of the shortest offering a one-stop ride to start of Taksim. Near to Tunel is the Galata district, whose Galata Tower became a famous symbols of Istanbul, and the top of which offers a tremendous 180 degree view of the city.
From the Tunel area to Taksim square is one of the city\'s focal points for shopping, entertainment and urban promenading: Istiklal Cadesi is a fine example of the contrasts and compositions of Istanbul; fashion shops, bookshops, cinemas, markets, restaurants and even hand-carts selling trinkets and simit (sesame bread snack) ensure that the street is packed throughout the day until late into the night. The old tramcars re-entered into service, which shuttle up and down this fascinating street, and otherwise the street is entirely pedestrianised. There are old embassy buildings, Galatasaray High School, the colourful ambience of Balik Pazari (Fish Bazaar) and restaurants in Cicek Pasaji (Flower Passage). Also on this street is the oldest church in the area, St Mary\'s Draperis dating back to 1789, and the Franciscan Church of St Antoine, demolished and then rebuilt in 1913.
The street ends at Taksim Square, a huge open plaza, the hub of modern Istanbul and always crowded, crowned with an imposing monument celebrating Attaturk and the War of Independence. The main terminal of the new subway is under the square, adjacent is a noisy bus terminal, and at the north end is the Ataturk Cultural Centre, one of the venues of the Istanbul Theatre Festival. Several five-star hotels are dotted around this area, like the Hyatt, Intercontinental and Hilton (the oldest of its kind in the city). North of the square is the Istanbul Military Museum.
Taksim and Beyoglu have for centuries been the centre of nightlife, and now there are many lively bars and clubs off Istiklal Cadesi, including some of the only gay venues in the city. Beyoglu is also the centre of the more bohemian arts scene.
Sultanahmet: Many places of tourist interest are concentrated in Sultanahmet, heart of the Imperial Centre of the Ottoman Empire. The most important places in this area, all of which are described in detail in the Places of Interest section, are Topkapi Palace, Aya Sofia, Sultan Ahmet Camii (the Blue Mosque), the Hippodrome, Kapali Carsi (Covered Market), Yerebatan Sarnici and the Museum of Islamic Art.
In addition to this wonderful selection of historical and architectural sites, Sultanahmet also has a large concentration of carpet and souvenir shops, hotels and guesthouses, cafes, bars and restaurants, and travel agents.
Ortaköy: Ortakoy was a resort for the Ottoman rulers because of its attractive location on the Bosphorus, and is still a popular spot for residents and visitors. The village is within a triangle of a mosque, church and synagogue, and is near Ciragan Palace, Kabatas High School, Feriye, Princess Hotel.
The name Ortakoy reflects the university students and teachers who would gather to drink tea and discuss life, when it was just a small fishing village. These days, however, that scene has developed into a suburb with an increasing amount of expensive restaurants, bars, shops and a huge market. The fishing, however, lives on and the area is popular with local anglers, and there is now a huge waterfront tea-house which is crammed at weekends and holidays.
Sariyer: The first sight of Sariyer is where the Bosphorus connects with the Black Sea, after the bend in the river after Tarabya. Around this area, old summer houses, embassies and fish restaurants line the river, and a narrow road which separates it from Buyukdere, continues along to the beaches of Kilyos.
Sariyer and Rumeli Kavagi are the final wharfs along the European side visited by the Bosphorus boat trips. Both these districts, famous for their fish restaurants along with Anadolu Kavagi, get very crowded at weekends and holidays with Istanbul residents escaping the city.
After these points, the Bosphorus is lined with tree-covered cliffs and little habitation. The Sadberk Hanim Museum, just before Sariyer, is an interesting place to visit; a collection of archaeological and ethnographic items, housed in two wooden houses. A few kilometres away is the huge Belgrade Forest, once a haunting ground of the Ottomans, and now a popular weekend retreat into the largest forest area in the city.
Üsküdar: Relatively unknown to tourists, the suburb of Üsküdar, on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, is one of the most attractive suburbs. Religiously conservative in its background, it has a tranquil atmosphere and some fine examples of imperial and domestic architecture.
The Iskele, or Mihrimah Camii is opposite the main ferry pier, on a high platform with a huge covered porch in front, often occupied by older local men watching life around them. Opposite this is Yeni Valide Camii, built in 1710, and the Valide Sultan\'s green tomb rather like a giant birdcage. The Cinili Mosque takes its name from the beautiful tiles which decorate the interior, and was built in 1640.
Apart from places of religious interest, Uskudar is also well known as a shopping area, with old market streets selling traditional local produce, and a good fleamarket with second hand furniture. There are plenty of good restaurants and cafes with great views of the Bosphorus and the rest of the city, along the quayside. In the direction of Haydarpasa is the lhe Karaca Ahmet Cemetery, the largest Muslim graveyard in Istanbul. The front of the Camlica hills lie at the ridge of area and also offer great panoramic views of the islands and river.
Kadiköy: Further south along the Bosphorus towards the Sea of Marmara, Kadiköy has developed into a lively area with up-market shopping, eating and entertainment making it popular especially with wealthy locals. Once prominent in the history of Christianity, the 5th century hosted important consul meetings here, but there are few reminders of that age. It is one of the improved districts of Istanbul over the last century, and fashionable area to promenade along the waterfront in the evenings, especially around the marinas and yacht clubs.
Bagdat Caddesi is one of the most trendy and label-conscious fashion shopping streets, and for more down-to-earth goods, the Gen Azim Gunduz Caddesi is the best place for clothes, and the bit pazari on Ozelellik Sokak is good for browsing through junk. In the district of Moda, is the Benadam art gallery, as well as many foreign cuisine restaurants and cafes.
Haydarpasa: To the north of Kadikoy is Haydarpasa, and the train station built in 1908 with Prussain-style architecture which was the first stop along the Baghdad railway. Now it is the main station going to eastbound destinations both within Turkey, and internationally. There are tombs and monuments dedicated to the English and French soldiers who lost their lives during the Crimean War (1854-56), near the military hospital. The north-west wing of the 19th Century Selimiye Barracks once housed the hospital, used by Florence Nightingale to care for soldiers, and remains to honour her memory.
Polonezköy: Polonezköy, although still within the city, is 25 km. away from the centre and not easy to reach by public transport. Translated as village of the Poles, the village has a fascinating history: It was established in 1848 by Prince Czartorisky, leader of the Polish nationals who was granted exile in the Ottoman Empire to escape oppression in the Balkans. During his exile, he succeeded in establishing a community of Balkans, which still survives, on the plot of land sold to him by a local monastery.
Since the 1970s the village has become a popular place with local Istanbulites, who buy their pig meat there (pig being forbidden under Islamic law and therefore difficult to get elsewhere). All the Poles have since left the village, and the place is inhabited now by wealthy city people, living in the few remaining Central European style wooden houses with pretty balconies.
What attracts most visitors to Polonezkoy is its vast green expanse, which was designated Istanbul\'s first national park, and the walks though forests with streams and wooden bridges. Because of its popularity, it gets crowded at weekends and the hotels are usually full.
Kilyos: Kilyos is the nearest beach resort to the city, on the Black Sea coast on the European side of the Bosphorus. Once a Greek fishing village, it has quickly been developed as a holiday-home development, and gets very crowded in summer. Because of its ease to get there, 25km and plenty of public transport, it is good for a day trip, and is a popular weekend getaway with plenty of hotels, and a couple of campsites.
Sile: A pleasant, small holiday town, Sile lies 50km from Üsküdar on the Black Sea coast and some people even live here and commute into Istanbul. The white sandy beaches are easily accessible from the main highway, lying on the west, as well as a series of small beaches at the east end. The town itself if perched on a clifftop over looking the bay tiny island. There is an interesting French-built black-and-white striped lighthouse, and 14th century Genoese castle on the nearby island. Apart from its popular beaches, the town is also famous for its craft; Sile bezi, a white muslin fabric a little like cheesecloth, which the local women embroider and sell their products on the street, as well as all over Turkey.
The town has plenty of accommodation available, hotels, guest houses and pansiyons, although can get very crowded at weekends and holidays as it is very popular with people from Istanbul for a getaway, especially in the summer. There are small restaurants and bars in the town.
Prince\'s Islands: Also known as Istanbul Islands, there are eight within one hour from the city, in the Marmara Sea. Boats ply the islands from Sirkeci, Kabatas and Bostanci, with more services during the summer. These islands, on which monasteries were established during the Byzantine period, was a popular summer retreat for palace officials. It is still a popular escape from the city, with wealthier owning summer houses.
Buyukada The largest and most popular is Buyukada (the Great Island). Large wooden mansions still remain from the 19th century when wealthy Greek and Armernian bankers built them as holiday villas. The island has always been a place predominantly inhabited by minorities, hence Islam has never had a strong presence here.
Buyukada has long had a history of people coming here in exile or retreat; its most famous guest being Leon Trotsky, who stayed for four years writing The History of the Russian Revolution\'. The monastery of St George also played host to the granddaughter of Empress Irene, and the royal princess Zoe, in 1012.
The island consists of two hills, both surmounted by monasteries, with a valley between. Motor vehicles are banned, so getting around the island can be done by graceful horse and carriage, leaving from the main square off Isa Celebi Sokak. Bicycles can also be hired.
The southern hill, Yule Tepe, is the quieter of the two and also home of St George\'s Monastery. It consists of a series of chapels on three levels, the site of which is a building dating back to the 12th century. In Byzantine times it was used as an asylum, with iron rings on the church floors used to restrain patients. On the northern hill is the monastery Isa Tepe, a 19th century house.
The entire island is lively and colourful, with many restaurants, hotels, tea houses and shops. There are huge well-kept houses, trim gardens, and pine groves, as well as plenty of beach and picnic areas.
Burgazada Smaller and less of a tourist infrastructure is Burgazada. The famous Turkish novelist, Sait Faik Abasiyanik lived here, and his house has been turned into a museum dedicated to his work, and retains a remarkable tranquil and hallowed atmosphere.
Heybeliada Island of the Saddlebag\', because of its shape, is loved for its natural beauty and beaches. It also has a highly prestigious and fashionable watersports club in the northwest of the island. One of its best-known landmarks is the Greek Orthodox School of Theology, with an important collection of Byzantine manuscripts. The school sits loftily on the northern hill, but permission is needed to enter, from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Fener. The Deniz Harp Okulu, the Naval High School, is on the east side of the waterfront near the jetty, which was originally the Naval War Academy set up in 1852, then a high school since 1985. Walking and cycling are popular here, plus isolated beaches as well as the public Yoruk Beach, set in a magnificent bay. There are plenty of good local restaurants and tea houses, especially along Ayyildiz Caddesi, and the atmosphere is one of a close community.
Environment: Wide beaches of Kilyos at European side of Black Sea at 25th km. outside Istanbul, are attracting Istanbul residents during summer months. Belgrade Forest, inside from Black Sea, at European Side is the widest forest around Istanbul. Istanbul residents, at week ends, come here for family picnic with brazier at its shadows. 7 old water tank and some natural resources in the region compose a different atmosphere. Moglova Aqueduct, which is constructed by Mimar Sinan during 16th century among Ottoman aqueducts, is the greatest one. 800 m. long Sultan Suleyman Aqueduct, which is passing over Golf Club, and also a piece of art of Mimar Sinan is one of the longest aqueducts within Turkey.
Polonezköy, which is 25 km. away from Istanbul, is founded at Asia coast during 19th century by Polish immigrants. Polonezköy, for walking in village atmosphere, travels by horse, and tasting traditional Polish meals served by relatives of initial settlers, is the resort point of Istanbul residents. Beaches, restaurants and hotels of Sile at Black Sea coast and 70 km. away from Üsküdar, are turning this place into one of the most cute holiday places of Istanbul. Region which is popular in connection with tourism, is the place where famous Sile cloth is produced.
Bayramoglu - Darica Bird Paradise and Botanic Park is a unique resort place 38 km. away from Istanbul. This gargantuan park with its trekking roads, restaurants is full of bird species and plants, coming from various parts of the world.
Sweet Eskihisar fisherman borough, to whose marina can be anchored by yachtsmen after daily voyages in Marmara Sea is at south east of Istanbul. Turkey\'s 19th century famous painter, Osman Hamdi Bey\'s house in borough is turned into a museum. Hannibal\'s tomb between Eskihisar and Gebze is one of the sites around a Byzantium castle.
There are lots of Istanbul residents\' summer houses in popular holiday place 65 km. away from Istanbul, Silivri. This is a huge holiday place with magnificent restaurants, sports and health centers. Conference center is also attracting businessmen, who are escaping rapid tempo of urban life for "cultural tourism" and business - holiday mixed activities. Scheduled sea bus service is connecting Istanbul to Silivri.
Islands within Marmara Sea, which is adorned with nine islands, was the banishing place of the Byzantium princes. Today they are now wealthy Istanbul residents\' escaping places for cool winds during summer months and 19th century smart houses. Biggest one of the islands. Büyükada. You can have a marvelous phaeton travel between pine trees or have a swim within one of the numerous bays around islands!
Other popular islands are Kinali, Sedef, Burgaz and Heybeliada. Regular ferry voyages are connecting islands to both Europe and Asia coasts. There is a rapid sea bus service from Kabatas during summers.
A stay in Istanbul is not complete without a traditional and unforgettable boat excursion up the Bosphorus, that winding strait that separates Europe and Asia. Its shores offer a delightful mixture of past and present, grand splendor and simple beauty. Modern hotels stand next to yali (shore-front wooden villas), marble palaces abut rustic stone fortresses, and elegant compounds neighbor small fishing villages. The best way to see the Bosphorus is to board one of the passenger boats that regularly zigzag along the shores. You embark at Eminönü and stop alternately on the Asian and European sides of the strait. The round-trip excursion, very reasonably priced, takes about six hours. If you wish a private voyage, there are agencies that specialize in organizing day or night mini-cruises.
During the journey you pass the magnificent Dolmabahçe Palace; farther along rise the green parks and imperial pavilions of the Yildiz Palace. On the coastal edge of the parks stands the Çiragan Palace, refurbished in 1874 by Sultan Abdülaziz, and now restored as a grand hotel. For 300 meters along the Bosphorus shore its ornate marble facades reflect the swiftly moving water. At Ortaköy, the next stop, artists gather every Sunday to exhibit their works in a streetside gallery. The variety of people creates a lively scene. Sample a tasty morsel from one of the street vendors. In Ortaköy, there is a church, a mosque and a synagogue that have existed side by side for hundreds of years - a tribute to Turkish tolerance at the grass roots level. Overshadowing Istanbul\'s traditional architecture is one of the world\'s largest suspension bridges, the Bosphorus Bridge, linking Europe and Asia.
The beautiful Beylerbeyi Palace lies just past the bridge on the Asian side. Behind the palace rises Çamlica Hill, the highest point in Istanbul. You can also drive here to admire a magnificent panorama of Istanbul as well as the beautiful landscaped gardens. On the opposite shore, the wooden Ottoman villas of Arnavutköy create a contrast with the luxurious modern apartments of neighboring Bebek. A few kilometers farther along stand the fortresses of Rumeli Hisari and Anadolu Hisari facing each other across the straits like sentries guarding the city. The Göksu Palace, sometimes known as Kücüksü Palace graces the Asian shore next to the Anadolu Hisari. The second link between the two continents, the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge straddles the waterway just past these two fortresses.
From Duatepe Hill, on the European side, you can admire the magnificent panorama of the bridge and the Bosphorus. Below Duatepe, the beautiful Emirgan Park bursts with color when its tulips bloom in the spring. On the Asian shore is Kanlica, a fishing village that is now a favored suburb for wealthy Istanbulites. Crowds gather in the restaurants and cafes along its shores to sample its famous yogurt. Shortly after Kanlica and Çubuklu is the Beykoz Korusu (Ibrahim Pasa Woods), a popular retreat. In the cafes and restaurants there you can enjoy the delightful scenery and clear, fresh air. Back on the European side, at Tarabya Bay, yachts seem to dance at their moorings. The coastal road bustles with taverns and fish restaurants from Tarabya to the charming suburbs of Sariyer and Büyükdere. Sariyer has one of the largest fish markets in Istanbul and is also famous for its delicious varieties of milk puddings and börek (pastries). On past Sariyer, the narrow strait widens and opens into the Black Sea.
Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul are three names given to the city throughout its history. According to the legend, the legendary founder of the city of Byzantium was Byzas from Megara.
Byzas was looking for a new land for his family and his flowers. He asked the Delphic oracle for advice. The oracle advised him not to settle until he found the land of the blind. He told him to build his city just opposite the blind. The oracle was referring to the Chalcedonians, a Greek colony established earlier on the Asiatique side. Byzas set sail. When he was sailing thru the Marmara Sea to the Black Sea at the point of the Bosphorus where three sides were surrounded by water, he decided that the Calcedonians must have been blind not to have chosen this great location. So Byzas built his city on this point in 650 B.C. It was called
Byzantium was an independent city with its own government, the favourable location of Byzantium,which controlled the sea routes from the Aegean to the Black Sea.
Byzantium was an important center for trade and commercial. The city was taken by Darius 512 B.C. and remained under Persian control from 479 to 444 B.C. after the expulsion of the Spartan General Pausanias.
Byzantium later became a voluntary ally of Athens, following two centuries the city frequently changed hands between Athens and Sparta. In the year 179 B.C. the city was captured by the combined forces of Rhodes, Pergamum and Bithynia. In 1710 B.C. Byzantium was captured by the Romans and remained a Roman province until 325 A.D.
Constantinople In 324, Byzantium surrendered to Constantine, Emperor of the west. Over the next two years he re-established the Roman Empire with Byzantium as its capital and within four years he had completed his new capital which was five times as large as before. There were three different reasons why the emperor Constantine abandoned Rome as its capital: German intrusions, chaos in economy, chaos in administration. His choice was Byzantium. The name changed to Constantinople, the city of Constantine in November 26th 326 A.D. Emperor Constantine added a lot of important monuments to the city, palace, senate. He enlarged the first Christian house of worship, the Hagia Eirene and founded the Hagia Sophia and a number of churches. He founded two theatres, 160 baths, 50 pillared halls, 8 aqueducts, and 5000 houses. After Constantine\'s death Rome fell, and Constantinople became the sole capital of the Roman Empire.
The Emperor Justinian came to power between (527-565). He was of Spanish descent, He rebuilt St. Sophia which was totally destroyed in the Nika Riot, but Justinian, one of the greatest of East Roman rulers and, as Hadrian had been, a prolific builder, reconstructed the city on a magnificent scale. He was the founder of the largest underground cistern. The rapid growth of Christianity led to the construction of large buildings for worship. His brilliant generals Belisarius and Narses regained most of Italy, Spain and the North African provinces for the empire, though the cost of doing so was to damage irrevocably the economic resilience of the state. Some historians base the switch from Roman Empire to Byzantine during the reign of Justinian. He codified the laws that until that time had existed only in decrees. He recognized the predominance of Greeks among the empire\'s citizens by making Greek an official language of state along with Latin, and later Greek became the empire\'s sole official language. Throughout the ensuing centuries Constantinople successfully repulsed many assaults, from Goths, Alans, Serbs, Bulgarians, Russians and seventh-century Arabs. Its defenses held, reinforced by new walls built in the fifth century under Theodosias II. (Standing to the west of the walls that Constantine built, they are the ones that can be seen there today.)
In the 12th century, though, the knights and soldiers of the Fourth Crusade attacked and took the city, establishing a Latin Empire and occupying it until 1261 when the Byzantines reoccupied it. They continued in possession, warding off a serious and sustained late 13th-century Ottoman assault by Beyazit I, until Mehmet\'s assault and victory of 1453.
Marmara Sea, Sea of Marmara, Sea of Marmora, c.4,430 sq.mi (11,474 sq km), NW Turkey, between Europe in the north and Asia in the south. The Sea of Marmara, c.175 mi (280 km) long and 50 mi (80 km) wide, is connected o the east with the Black Sea through the Bosphorus and on the west with the Aegean Sea (part of the Mediterranean Sea) through the Dardanelles.
Istanbul is located at the entrance of the bosphorus into the Sea of Marmara. The sea has no strong currents and the tidal range is minimal. In ancient times the sea was known as Propontis from its position relative to the Black Sea. Its modern name is derived from the small island of Marmara or Marmora (ancient Proconnesus), famous for its extensive marble quarries.
Black Sea, inland sea, c. 159,600sq mi (413,360sq km), between SE Europe and Asia, connected with the Mediterranean Sea by the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles. It is c. 750 mi (1,210 km) from 7,367 ft (2,245 m). Its largest arm is the sea of Azov, which joins it through the Kerch Strait. The Black Sea is enclosed by Ukraine on the north, Russia on the northeast, Georgia on the east, Turkey on the south, and Bulgaria and Romania on the west.
The Black Sea was once part of a larger body that included the Caspian and Aral seas. In the Tertiary period, it was separeted from the Caspian Sea and was linked to the Mediterranean Sea. Growing evidence suggests that more recently, about 7,600 years ago, at the end of a long dry period, it was flooded suddenly when the Mediterannean, having again become separate, broke through at the Bosphorus, an event that may have scattered farmers from its shores into Europe and Asia. The Dnieper, Southern Buh, Dniester, and Danube rivers are its principal feeders, the don and Kuban rivers flow into the Sea of Azov. The rivers flowing into the northern part of the Black Sea carry much silt and form deltas, sandbars, and lagoons along the generally low and sandy northern coast. The southern coast is steep and rocky. The Black Sea has tow layers of water of different densities. The heavily saline bottom layer has little movement and contains hydrogen sulfide, it has no marine life. The top layer, much less saline and richer in fish, flows in a countewrclockwise direction around the sea. There is little tidal action.
Hagia Sophia is the most renowned Byzantine cathedral and the best known Christian church in Istanbul. The church of the Divine Wisdom, the first church of Hagia Sophia was planned by Constantine the Great, but it was built by his son and heir, Constantius . For almost a thousand years Hagia Sophia served as the cathedral of Constantinople of the Byzantine Empire.The name, Hagia Sophia, means sacred wisdom.
The first churc h, Hagia Sophia, was built between the years 337-361 A.D. Construction was begun during the reign of Constantius, son and successor of Constantine The Great. The church was destroyed by a fire on 20 June in the year A.D. 404.
The second church of Hagia Sophia was rebuilt by Emperor Theodosius. It was completed in the year A.D. 415. The second church was burnt down during the Nika revolt in the year A.D. 532.
The third church of Hagia Sophia was rebuilt between the years 532 and 537 by the Emperor Justinian . An earthquake damaged the structure in A.D. 558. It was rebuilt by the young Isidoros.
Hagia Sophia has been restored several times during the Byzantine and Ottoman period. On the Turkish Conquest of Istanbul. Sultan Mehmet The Conqueror entered the city on 29 May 1453. The Conqueror lead the first Friday prayers and ordered it be converted into a mosque. Four minarets of the building were placed at different times after the Conquest. The southeastern minaret was added during the reign of Sultan Mehmet II, the northeast minaret by Beyazit II and the two minarets were added by Murat III. The major restoration to the building was done during Sultan Abdulmecit\'s reign in 1847, by a Swiss architect Gaspar Fossatio. Mehmet the Conquerer added the mihrab and Suleyman the Magnificent donated the two gigantic candles on each side of the mihrab. The building was used as a mosque until 1934.
For almost five hundred years after the Turkish Conquest it served as the imperial mosque of Istanbul. Hagia Sophia served as a mosque during the early years of the Turkish Republic, then declared a national monument and converted into a museum by the order of Atatuk on 24 October 1934.
Turkish and Islamic Arts
The Palace of Ibrahim Pasa, the grandest private residence ever built in the Ottoman Empire was completed in 1524.
Ibrahim was appointed grand Vezir and the following year he married Suleyman\'s sister, Hatice.
Unlike many palaces of the period, it was constricted in stone. The palace was restored 1983.
Considered to be one of the most important examples of Ottoman civil architecture, it is now a museum of Turkish and Islamic art, exhibiting a collection of 40.000 objects including fine oriental rugs, Seljuk and Ottoman woodcarvings, Turkish folk life clothing, rug and kilim looms, showing the weaving and dying techniques. The museum has a conference room and a Turkish coffee house serving coffee or tea.
The Archrological Museum, the jewel of the city with antiquities collected from all over the country and stored in one building, was constructed between the years 1891-1908 by the architect, Valaury. It is one of the most important arceological museums in the world and it was Turkey\'s first museum,. Before its opening all valuble antiquities were brought to Istanbul and exhibited in the church of Hagia Eirene.
The collection consists of archeological pieces from the period 2500B.C. to 500A.D. On display are Greek, Roman and Byzantine architecture and sculpture, earthware, bronz and glassware. coins and medaillions. The most valubable object of the collection is The Alexander Sarcophagus which originates from the 4th century B.C.
Alexander Sarcophagus Discovered at Sidon by Hamdi Bey in 1887. The sides of Sarcophagus are decorated with interesting almost round relief showing Alexander in a lion hunting. The battle scene with the Macedonians are sculptured in a sportive fashion.
Sarcophagus of the Mourning Women
Mourners grieved for their loved ones in an interesting fashion.Professional mourners were hired and these eighteen women can be seen on the sides of the Sarcophagus .You will notice the figure of a child which gives additional importance to the deceased.
This amazing monument is decorated with reliefs on all four side. Greco Persian wars are represented. Al exander is shown with a lion \' s pelt over his head, mounted. On the other side the re is a scene of a lion with a stag in combat and a hunting scene on the other. This sarcophagus is also in the form of a Greek temple dating from the last quarter of the fourth century B.C.
During the Roman period in groups of reliefs showing gods of mythology.
The Lykian Sarcophagus
Lykia was located in soutwest Anatolia. It shows reliefs of two carved sphinxes and a lion hunt is shown .
The Tabrit Sarcophagus
Tabrit, King of Phoenikia died after the conquest of Egypt. Tabrit\'s corpse was mummified and laid into the coffin.
Sultan Ahmet Mosque ( Blue Mosque)
The last great imperial mosque, The Blue Mosque, was founded by Sultan Ahmet I and constructed by the architect Mehmet Aga between 1609 and 1616. Sultan Ahmet wanted to surpass Justinian and his Hagia Sophia, and on the other hand architect Mehmet Aga wanted to surpass his master Sinan. Sultan Ahmet was given little time to enjoy his mosque, for he died the year after its completion, when he was only twenty seven years of age.
The Sultan Ahmet Mosque differs from the other mosques in Istanbul because of its six minarets. The courtyard of the mosque is almost as large as the prayer hall and makes one notice the elegance of the building with 26 granite columns covered by 30 small domes. At the center of the courtyard there is an octagonal sadirvan which serves only as decorative purpose.
The elegance of the interior is overwhelming. It is very nearly a square 51 meters long and 53 meters wide, covered by a dome 23.5 meters in diameter and 43 meters in height, resting on four semi-domes, those again by smaller domes. The Blue Mosque is flooded with light from its 260 windows. The dominant color is blue, from which the building derives its popular name of the Blue Mosque. The tiles up to the windows and the walls and the ones in the sultans box are the most beautiful Iznik tiles. Iznik produced ceramics of high quality and these ceramic decorations often showed magnificent floral designs such as the traditional lily, carnation, tulip and rose motifs, cypress trees and animals motifs. These are painted with blues and green as dominant colors.
Turkish rugs have always played an important role inside mosques. They have not only covered floors and walls, they have also been used as cushions, pillows and bed covers.
The kulliye of Sultan Ahmet consists of a medrese, turbe, hospital, primary school, market , public kitchen, and kervansaray
The Suleymaniye Mosque
The Suleymaniye is one of the finest and most magnificent imperial mosque complexes in the city. Suleymaniye Mosque crowns the third hill of the old city and adds a great deal to the unrivalled beauty of the city\'s skyline. Suleyman was the tenth sultan of the Ottoman dynasty . After thirty years of rule, Suleyman The Magnificent decided to have a mosque built and Sinan, the greatest of Ottoman architects, was commissioned.
Sinan was born in Kayseri in 1489. After his schooling in Istanbul he served in the army, He was promoted to the position of the head architect by Suleymaniye in 1539. Until his death in 1588 he built 334 edifices. among them were 132 mosques, 26 libraries, 17 hospitals, 33 palaces, 7 aqueducts and many tombs and fountains.
The construction of the Suleymaniye began in 1550 and the mosque was completed in 155 7.T he generous sultan gave the honor of opening the Suleymaniye to his architect Sinan, the creator of the finest mosque in Istanbul.
The mosque stands in the center of the courtyard surrounded on three sides by a wall with grilled windows. There are 24 marble and granite columns which carry the weight of 28 domes. In the four corners of this courtyard there are four minarets rising with ten balconies. T he interior is approximately 58.5 by 57.5 meters. The dome, with a height of 47 meters and diameter of 26.5 meters, joined to the central dome in the east and the west w he re two semi domes are supported by smaller domes. It can be said that Sinan rarely succeeded with the interior of his west walls . I n almost every case there is a tendency to squeeze the portal.
Suleymaniye suprises visitors with its solid architecture and modest decorations with the exception of magnificent stainglass windows, made by master Ibrahim. Fine 16th century Iznik tiles decorate the mihrap area of the mosque.
The tombs of Suleyman the Magnificent and his wife Roxalena are in the cemetery of the mosque. A ll these parts of the Suleymaniye mosque are surrounded by a wall with a number of grated windows,
This was the first Turkish mosque built after the conquest. The main building was completed in seven years (1463-1470).
The architect Atic Sinan built the largest kulliye in Ottoman Art History. The kulliye consisted of medreses, Kervansaray, hamam, a hospital, baths, a kitchen for the poor, a library, and a Koranic school. The Kulliye has been preserved in its original form. The original mosque was destroyed in the great earthquake of 22 May 1766. Mustafa II undertook its reconstruction and the present building was completed in 1771.
The mosque has a very large central dome 26 meters in diameter. The painted decoration is fussy in detail and dull in color. The mihrab is from the original building. In the graveyard, behind the mosque, are the tombs of Sultan Mehmet and his wife Gulbahar.
Topkapi Palace Istanbul
Topkapi Palace which was built by Mehmet The Conqueror between the years 1462 and 1478 was constructed at Seraglio Point surrounded by the Sea of Marmara, the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus . It is located on the first hill of old city. Topkapi Palace is one of the finest examples of the Ottoman civil architecture in existence. After harems were added to it Suleyman moved with all his harem to the new palace. Topkapi Palace, the greatest residence of The Ottoman Dynasty, is one of the best museums in the world. This vast and fascinating complex served as Imperial residence for the Ottoman Empire for more than four centuries.
Topkapi Palace consisted of three courts and a large terrace. The first court was open to the public but the second court requiresd special permission to enter. The third court was reserved for servants, court officials and students, This court had a mint. the Ministry of Finances, a bakery and a hospital.
The second gate, which looked like a fortress with two towers opened into the second court. The Kitchens were located to the right and consisted of ten rooms with three large domes. In each room cooking was done for different ranks-for the sultan, for his mother and his wives. A head cook, ten chefs and 480 cooks worked each day cooking for 5000- 7000 people and during holiday time for 10000- 12000 people. Today Chinese, Japanese, Turkish and European porcelain are exhibited in these former kitchens. This is the world\'s third largest collection of porcelain after Peking and Dresden.
The complex of the harem has 400 rooms,10 baths, 2 mosques, a hospital and a prison. The most influential person in the harem after the sultan was the sultan\'s mother. The third most important person in the harem was the Chief Black Eunuch.
In addition, the third court included schools, a summer residence and bath, government buildings and a mosque.
In the first room one can see the armor of Mustafa III, decorated with gems, the ivory throne of Murat IV, a golden music box in the shape of an elephant, pearl trimmed Koran holders, golden water pipes, tobacco boxes, shields, swords, helmets, daggers pistols, and vases of jade.
In the second room is the canopy throne decorated with mother of pearl, emeralds and rubies belonging to Ahmet I, the golden cradle of the princes, precious stones, and the Topkapi dagger with emeralds and 22 uncut emeralds.
The third room contains the 86 carat diamond surrounded by 49 brilliants, two golden candle holders, and an Indian throne trimmed with 250.000 pearls.
In the former government building, built by Mehmet II, the holy relics brought from Egypt by Sultan Selim are kept. The prophet\'s mantle, Muhammad\'s sword, his bamboo bow, his letter to the patriarch of Egypt, one of his teeth, a hair from his beard, and his footprint in the marble of Mecca can be seen.
The terrace is decorated with several pavilions, the most beautiful being the Bagdat Pavilion which was built to commemorate the conquest of Bagdat in 1638. Other pavillions include The Revan Pavilion which was built in 1631, The Mecidiye Pavilion built in the 18th century and the Sofa Pavilion built in 1704.
Ciragan Palace Istanbul
The most picturesque spots along the Bosphorus , t he area where C ira g an Palace Hotel Kempinski I stanbul now stands was known, in the 17th century, as Kazancioglu Garden.
In the second half of the 16th century, High Admiral Kili c Ali Pasha had a waterfront house here, and in the 17th century (1648) Sultan Murat IV gave the imperial garden to his daughter, Kaya Sultan, and her husband, Grand Vizier Melek Ahmet Pasha. They had a small wooden mansion built here in which they would spend the summer months. At the beginning of the 18th century, Ahmet III presented the house and grounds to his son-in-law, Grand Vizier I brahim Pasha of Nevsehir, who organized torchlight fetes known as Çiragan Senlikleri ( C ira g an Festivals) with his wife, Fatma Sultan. It was then that the area became known as C ira g an.
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, wife of the English ambassador Edward Wortley Montagu, who lived in I stanbul between 1717-1718, wrote of the original C ira g an Palace in her letters, published after her death; " It is situated on one of the most delightful parts of the canal, with a fine wood on the side of a hill behind it. The extent of it is prodigious; the guardian assured me there were eight hundred rooms in it, I will not however, answer for that number since I did not count them; but \'tis certain the number is very large, and the whole adorned with a profusion of marble, gilding and the most exquisite painting of fruit and flowers. The windows are all sashed with the finest crystalline glass brought from England, and here is all the expensive magnificence that you can suppose in a palace founded by a young man, with the wealth of a vast empire at his command." This original palace was to be torn down and rebuilt many times over the next two centuries. After the rebellion of 1730 which brought the great Tulip era to an end, the palace was left empty and fell into disrepair. It was finally taken over by Mahmut I and used as a banqueting hall for foreign ambassadors.
Selim III\'s Grand Vizier Yusuf Ziya Pasha bought the Palace, demolished it, and commissioned Kirkor Balian to build a new palace in marble which he presented to the Sultan in 1805. Selim III then gave the Palace to his sister, Beyhan Sultan, but she returned it. This palace, used as a summer house during the reign of Mahmud II, was again demolished and rebuilt on a large scale by Garabed Balian in 1835-1843. Although great quantities of wood were used, the main section was made from marble and stone and included forty classical columns.
When Sultan Abdulmecid decided to move his official residence to Dolmabahce Palace in 1855, the C ira g an Palace was torn down again , to be replaced by an imposig stone edifice designed by Nigogos Balian, and the foundations of the present palace were laid. However, due to financial problems and the "Kuleli olayi" (an uncovered conspiracy to assassinate the sultan) the construction of the palace was only half finished. It was only completed in 1857, after Abdulaziz acceded to the throne. Abdulaziz demanded his palace to be built in Arab style as a memorial to his reign. Artists were sent to Spain and North Africa to make drawings of the famous buildings there.
The story goes that the Sultan interfered with the design so much that the plans were redrawn twenty times before he was satisfied. The palace doors, each worth one thousand gold pieces, were so admired by "Kaiser Wilhelm" that some were presented to him as a gift and stand today in Berlin Museum. The finest marble and mother-of-pearl were brought from all over the world for the new C ira g an Palace; construction was completed at a total cost of five million Ottoman gold liras. But Sultan Abdulaziz only lived here for a few months before pronouncing it to be too damp to stay in and moving out again. This former residence of king was destined to share the fate of the declining Ottoman Empire.
Sultan Murat V, deposed during a military takeover, was held prisoner here with his family until his death in 1904. After this the palace became the new location for parliament and was opened on November 14, 1909. Parliament convened here for just two months before a fire, which broke out in the central heating vents, destroyed the entire palace in just under five hours, leaving only a stone shell. Priceless antiques, paintings and books were lost, along with many vital documents. In 1946, Parliament gave the palace, its outbuildings and grounds, to I stanbul Municipality where it was used as a dumping ground for sand and other construction materials. It was also used as a swimming pool and was a football ground for the local team. It seemed only a matter of time before the last remnants of the former palace would be torn down once and for all.
Dolmabahce Palace Istanbul
This beautiful Ottoman Palace, magnificently situated at the European side of the Bosphorus strait, was built by the son of Mahmut II, Sultan Abdulmecit 1839-1861, who ascended the throne at the age 16. His decision to have a new fashionable residence similar to European palaces started the construction of the Dolmabahce Palace in 1843.
After the demolition of the former palace in wood, the work for the new palace started under architects Garabet and Nikogos Balyan, members of the famous Balyan family which gave nine reputed architect to the Ottoman Empire for nearly a century. Serving under the six sultans, they were responsible for the westernization of the city\'s architecture. The construction of the palace which covers an area of 250.000 square meters, took about 13 years and finished in 1855. Abdulmecit, the first occupant of the palace, lived there 15 years. Since some of the Sultans didn\'t show too much interest to Dolmabahce palace, it stayed empty most of its time.
Dolmabahce Palace consisted of the sultans wing, the festival greeting hall(also known as the throne hall) and the harem. To impress foreign ambassadors they were received through the entrance hall which was decorated with vases from Sevres and Yildiz and led up stairs with railings made of crystal glass from Venice. Crystal and silver candle holders, crystal chandeliers, curtains of silk from Hereke, gilded cornices and silk carpets, rooms decorated with painting of the Russian artist Aiwazowsky gave everyone the impression that one was in the residency of a wealthy emperor.
The baroque clock tower and the Dolmabahce Mosque, commissioned by the mother of Abdulmecit I and built by Sarkis Balyan in 1853, complete the Dolmabahce Palace complex.
Dolmabahce was the favorite palace of Abdulmecit and Mehmet Resat who reigned during the first World War.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, died in this palace on the 10th of November, 1938.
Hippodrome was built by the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in 203 A.D. The hippodrome was a stadium which served as a meeting place for the politicians, for chariot races, wrestling, boxing, and other athletic activities that took place. The arena was over 400 meters long and 120 meters wide, In the fourth century the spectator capacity was increased to 100,000,
They organized the games in the hippodrome. Green took their seat to the left, the Blues to the right of the emperor \'s box. Women were not admitted. After the emperor had appeared in his box and greeted his people, the four gates beneath his box opened and from each raced a chariot drawn by four horses into the arena. The game lasted the whole day. The chariot track was covered with white sand which was brought from Egypt. The winner was awarded a prize which consisted of a crown made of flowers, some presents, bonuses and money,
Obelisk of Theodosius ( The Egyptian obelisk ) erected by Tutmosis III 1504-1450 B.C. before the temple of Karnak at Heliopolis. The Obelisk, brought to Istanbul by Emperor Theodosius I was made of pink granite and its height is 17 metres. Originally, the obelisk was 27 meters in height ,10 meters higher than it is today and weighed 800 tons .It is unknown when and how the lower part disappeared.
The hieroglyphic inscription on the Obelisk describes the victory of the pharaoh and a sacrifice to the god of the sun Amon-Ra in which the pharaoh kneels at the foot of the god.
The Obelisk was brought to Constantinopolis in 390 A.D. and stood over a rectangular stone base on four bronze feet. Its marble base in itself is six meters. There are inscriptions in Latin and Greek on it.
Constantine Column was the landmark of the city because of its height of 32 meters. The column was erected in the fourth century by Constantine the Great. This monument was completely covered with bronze plates.During the Latin invasion in 1204, these plaques were removed and melted to make coins,
Serpentine Column was donated to the Delphi by the 31 Greek city states after the victory over the Persians in 479 B.C. This is one of the oldest monuments in Istanbul. The names of these 31 cities were written on this obelisk whichis 5.10 meters high. Originally, the column was 8 meters high and the column was in the form of three serpents\' heads with the gold cauldron supported on their heads. Only two of these heads have been found with one in the Istanbul Archeological Museum, the other one in the British Museum.
German Fountain was built in 1898 when Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II visited Istanbul and donated a fountain which was put up in front of the Blue Mosque as a gift to the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamit.
Land walls ( The Walls of Theodosius)
The Byzantine land walls with a length of about six and half kilometers, lies between the Golden Horn and the Marmara Sea. These walls protected Byzantium from its enemies and are now preserved as an historical monument. They were buil between 379 - 395 A.D. by the Emperor Theodosius II.
In 447 A.D. an earthquake destroyed much of the wall. The inner wall\'s thickness is 5 meters and the height is 12 meters protected with 96 towers between18 and 20 meters in height. The outer wall\'s thickness is 2 meters and the height is 8.5 meters. Beyond the outer wall there is an outer terrace called the parateichion which is 10 meters in depth and 20 meters in width, and was filled with water whenever the city was threatened .
The great fortress of Rumeli Hisar, built by Sultan Mehmet II in the year 1452, is located immediately opposite Anadolu Hirasi, which was built by Yildirim Beyazit I sixty years earlier. With a fortress on either side of the Bosphorus, it was the first step in Mehmets plan to capture the Byzantine capital.
Mehmet had sent out orders throughout his Empire for 1000 skilled masons and 2000 workmen to collect wood and building stone and to assemble here in the spring, Stone was brought from Anatolia. Mehmet himself laid out the design, dictated by the lie of the land, and each of his three Vezirs, the Grand Vezir, Candarli Halil Pasa, Zaganos Pasa, and Saruca Pasa were made responsible for building a tower, while the Sultan himself undertook the walls and bastions, introducing a healthy sprit of competition.
When it was completed a garrison of 400 Janissaries was stationed in it and here they tried out the range of their new cannons by training them on any ships rash enough to try to pass.
After the Conquest, the fortress found a new role as a prison before gradually falling into disrepair.
In 1953, 500 years after the Conquest, Rumeli Hisar Fortress was well restored, and the space inside laid out with lawns and paths. The cistern on which the mosque once stood still marked by the stump of its minaret was opened up and converted into an open air theatre where plays and folk dancing are performed during the summer, especially at the time of the Istanbul Festival.
In the courtyard of Istanbul University stands Beyazit Tower, a characteristic feature of the Istanbul skyline.
There had long been a wooden tower at this point for fire-watchers, but it was not until 1828 that Mahmut II caused the present tower to be built.
The architect was Senekerim Balyan, one of the renowned architectural dynasty, and he replaced an earlier wooden tower built by his brother Kirkor Balyan.
It is some fifty meters high and the view from the top (reached by a wooden staircase of 180 steps) is well worth the climb; almost the whole of Istanbul can be seen.
The Galata Tower stands some 67 meters high with its base 35 meters above sea level. Originally known as the Tower of Christ, it was erected during the first expansion of the Genoese colony in 1348 in order to defend themselves more adequately. The defense system consisted of six walled enceintes, with the outer wall bordered by a deep ditch. Fragments of the fortifications can still be seen here and there in Galata.
Mehmet II took the tower from the Genoese. The tower was used as a weather observatory during the reign of Murat III 1514-1595. The Galata Tower has recently been restored and there are now a modern restaurant and cafe on its upper levels. From there a panoramic view out over the entire city can be seen.
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar, is probably the largest market of its kind in the world, It was originally founded by Mehmet II in 1461.The bazaar was enlarged during the reign of Suleyman I in 1701. A small city in itself. There are more than 3500 shops of various kinds, storehouses, workshops, stalls, hans, restaurants, lunch counters, cafes and tea houses, mosques, mescid and fountains. There are a total of 65 streets totaling 30.702 m², altogether employing more than 20.000 people.
Members of the same trade set up their shops in the same area, still reflecting in the names of the street\'s tassel makers, cobblers, purse makers, belt makers, skullcap makers and so on. Today these divisions are less clear but they still remain in principle.
The grid is centered on the Old Bedesten, one of the original structure surviving from the time of Mehmet II. It was used to house the most precious wares, for it can be securely locked and guarded at night. There is another building of similar type known as the Sandal Bedesten, a lofty hall covered with twenty domes supported on twelve great stone piers
It was built in 1660 by the architect Kasim Aga for the mother of Sultan Murat IV, Hatice Turhan Sultan. The Egyptian Bazaar is Istanbul\'s second covered bazaar. It is L shaped in plan, a building that borders two sides of the park beside Yeni Cami. The structure was restored in 1943. There are eighty eight vaulted shops in all, along with a tiny mosque at the inner corner of the L.
The structure of the building is dressed stone with alternating brick courses, fine examples of Ottoman Architecture.
Merchants selling various herbs and spices such as saffron, mustard, mint, thyme, cinnamon, aniseed, garlic, Indian tea, honey, apple tea, henna, jujube, eucalyptus, mahlep, cloves ,etc can be seen throught.
The great Camlica Hill stands about four kilometers east of Uskudar and can be reached by car. It is the taller of the twin peaks of Mount Bulgurlu, the highest point in the vicinity of Istanbul, 267 meters above sea level. It has a small teahouse in the midst of the pine grove which gives the peak its name.
From here, there is an absolutely magnificent view, which makes it well worth the climb. In the morning when the sun is still easterly one has a panoramic sight of the whole city, the Bosphorus almost as far as the Black Sea, the Marmara Sea with the Princes Islands, and behind that, the great snow covered ridge of Uludag, the Bithynian Olympus. Toward evening the sun sets almost directly behind Istanbul and its domes and minarets are silhouetted against the flaming western sky like a splendid stage drop.
Especially in the spring are these hills and valleys most beautiful, for everywhere is a profusion of the most varied wildflowers and many unusual birds.
Because of Turkey\'s geographical conditions, one cannot speak about a general overall climate.
In Istanbul and around the S ea of Marmara the climate is moderate ( in winter 4 degree s C and in summer 27 degree s C); in winter the temperature can drop below O C .
In Western Anatolia there is a mild Mediterranean climate with average temperatures of 9 degree s C in winter and 29 degree s C in summer.
I n Eastern Anatolia there is a long hard winter, where year after year snow lies on the ground from November until the end of April (the average temperature in winter is -13 degree s C and in summer 17 degree s C).
On the southern coast of Anatolia the same climate can be found.
The climate of the Anatolian plateau is a steppe climate (there is a great temperature difference between day and night). Rainfall is low and there is more snow. The average temperature is 23 degree s C in summer and -2 deg rees C in winter.
The climate in the Black Sea area is wet, warm and humid ( in summer 23 degree s C, in winter 7 degree s C).Lifestyle
The cultural activity, tourism and commerce will continue their importance in the city life. However, the issues of population growth, traffic solution, stopping of disorganized housing, restoration of historic buildings and planning a 3rd motorway transition to the Bosphorus will continue. The daily life in Istanbul which continues side by side with the fussily protected Roman, Byzantine and Turkish monuments is colorful and live. Istanbul can be considered as the capital of Turkey in terms of commerce, entertainment, culture, education, shopping, tourism and art activities. More than half of the population lives and mostly works in the European side. The large amount of people living in the residential areas in the Anatolian side uses the bridges and sea transportation to go to work every day in the city which has been the most popular stop for the voyagers throughout the history.
View of Reina Night Club in Ortaköy District of Istanbul
Istanbul is getting more colorful with its rich social, cultural and commercial activities. Alongside with Turkish restaurants, the Far eastern and other cuisines are getting large in number and with the newly opened restaurants. While the world famous pop stars are filling the stadiums, activities like opera, balet, theatre are continuing throughout the year. In the seasonal festivals world famous orchestras, choros, concerts, jazz legends are found. The musical, folk and theatral pieces are playing full house. Among with historical places like Hagia Irene , Rumeli Fortress , Yedikule, courtyard of Topkapi Palace , Gülhane park; The Ataturk Cultural center, Cemal Resit Rey concert hall and other open air and modern theatre halls are hosting the shows. For the people that like night life, there are sufficient number of clubs, musical restaurants, discos, bars and pavillions. The clubs, restaurants and discoteques increase in number and move to open air spaces in summers.
"There, God and human, nature and art are together, they have created such a perfect place that it is valuable to see."
Alphonse de Lamartine
Lamartine\'s famous poetic line reveals his love for Istanbul, describing the embracing of two continents, with one arm reaching out to Asia and the other to Europe.
In the townscape, the typical Ottoman tradition built, timber buildings belong. In the last decades in and around the city, numerous and high settlements were built by the fast growth of the population. Sorrounding towns were absorbed into Istanbul as the city grew rapidly outwards. Successes happened since the mid 1990\'s when the garbage problem was solutioned, traffic conditions were improved and the air improvement was obtained by the employment of natural gas. Nevertheless air and water pollution by the numerous factories, motor vehicles and private households and the noise pollution by traffic further concerns the population of Istanbul. Diseases such as bronchitis and asthma are far more common among the inhabitants of the city\'s Gecekondu areas largely because of these poorer, densely populated areas\' proximity to industry.
Ottoman mansions and horse-drawn carriages of Büyükada ,the largest of the Prince\'s Islands
Spare time and recovery
Because of the contamination of the sea, traditional beach resorts had disappeared gradually, for some years however old places opened again in the city. The most popular places within the city belong to Bakirkoy( Bakirköy ), Kucukcekmece( Küçükçekmece ), Sariyer( Sariyer ) and the Bosphorus, outside of the city are the Marmara sea the Prince\'s islands, Silivri and Tuzla as well as at the black sea Kilyos and Sile(Sile). The Prince\'s Islands (Prens Adalari) are a group of islands in the Marmara sea, south of the quarters Kartal and Pendik. With their Pine and Stone pines, wooden art nouveau style summer mansions from the turn of the twentieth century, horse-drawn carriages (motor vehicles are not permitted) and fish restaurants make them a popular trip goal. They can be attained with ferry boats and high-speed ferries (Deniz otobüsü) from Eminönü and Kartal . From the nine islands, four are settled. Sile( Sile ) is distant and well-known Turkish seaside resort at the black sea, 50 kilometers from Istanbul. Outside of Sile unaffected white sand beaches are to be found. Kilyos is a small calm seaside resort not far from the northern European entrance of the Bosphorus at the black sea. The place has good swimming possibilities and became popular in the last years among the inhabitants of Istanbul as a place for excursions. Kilyos offers a beach park with (fish) Restaurants and discotheques.
After so many decades of trying to become Western, Istanbul glories in the rediscovery of a modern identity. European or not, it is one of the coolest cities in the world. There is such richness, the city is still thickly atmospheric, with bazaars, Byzantine churches and Ottoman mansions pretty much everywhere.
Other Buildings and monuments
- Anadolu Hisari (Fortress of Anatolia)
- Anadoluhisar Museum
- Arap Mosque
- Bulgarian St Stephen Church (also known as "Bulgarian Iron Church")
- Tekfur Palace (One of the two still existing Byzantine palaces in Istanbul)
- Fatih Mosque
- Fethiye Museum ( Pammakaristos Church )
- Galata Mevlevi House
- The Gates of Galatasaray Lisesi
- Hagia Irene (Aya Irini)
- Hippodrome of Constantinople
- Imrahor Monument
- Istanbul Modern Art Museum
- Kadirga Sokullu Cami
- Kilic Ali Pasha Mosque
- Little Hagia Sophia Museum (Ss. Sergius and Bacchus Church)
- Museum of Classical Ottoman (Divan) Literature
- Mosaic Museum
- Istanbul Archaeology Museum
- Ortaköy Mosque
- Rahmi M Koç Museum
- Rumelihisar Museum
- Rüstem Pasha Mosque
- Sadberk Hanim Museum
- Sultanahmet Mosque or Blue Mosque
- Süleymaniye Mosque
- Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum
- Yedikulehisar Museum
Markets, neighborhoods and places
- Golden Horn
- Istiklal Avenue
- Prince\'s Islands
- Taksim Square
- The Grand Bazaar
- The Spice Bazaar
- Eyup Sultan Cemetery
Istanbul holds some of the finest institutes of higher education in Turkey , including a number of public and private universities. Most of the reputable universities are public, but in recent years there has also been an upsurge in the number of private universities.
Among the well-known public institutions are Istanbul Technical University ( Istanbul Teknik Üniversitesi (ITÜ) ), Bosphorus University ( Bogaziçi Üniversitesi ), Galatasaray University , University of Istanbul ( Istanbul Üniversitesi (IÜ) ), University of Marmara ( Marmara Üniversitesi ), and Yildiz Technical University ( Yildiz Teknik Üniversitesi ).
Some of the private institutions include Istanbul Commerce University ( Istanbul Ticaret Üniversitesi ), Bahçesehir University  ( Bahçesehir Üniversitesi ), Koç University  ( Koç Üniversitesi ), Sabanci University ( Sabanci Üniversitesi ), Bilgi University ( Istanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi ), Istanbul Kultur University  , Isik University ( Isik Üniversitesi ), Yeditepe University ( Yeditepe Üniversitesi ), Fatih University ( Fatih Üniversitesi ), Maltepe University ( Maltepe Üniversitesi ), Kadir Has University ( Kadir Has Üniversitesi ), Haliç University (Haliç Üniversitesi), Dogus University (Dogus Üniversitesi) and Beykent University (Beykent Üniversitesi).
- There are many classical, national and private high schools , like the Galatasaray High School in Beyoglu
- National High Schools, e.g. Istanbul Erkek Lisesi (Istanbul High school for boys) in Cagaloglu (Cagaloglu)
- Private High Schools, e.g. Amerikan Robert Lisesi (American Robert College), Özel Alman Lisesi (Private German school) or Lycee Saint Michel(Private French school)
- Anadolu Liseleri ("Anatolian Highshools"), originally furnished for the Turkish children returned home from the foreign country, e.g. the Üsküdar Anadolu Lisesi with German as first foreign language and technical instruction on German Professional training-technical resuming schools.
- Science High Schools. Science High schools were established with the aim of providing education to exceptionally gifted mathematics and science students; providing a source for the training of high-level scientists, in order to meet the needs of nation; encouraging students to engage in research activities ;providing facilities for students interested in working on inventions and discoveries; serving as labarotory for procedures to be implemented in the science and mathematics programs of other secondary schools.These schools offer a three-year program with a curriculum which emphasises science and matheamtics. The schools have a class-size of 24 , and, in accordance with regulations, are boarding schools. The language of instruction is Turkish. Entrance to science high schools generally achieve the highest scores in the university exams.
- Islamic aligned Imam Hatip schools, e.g. Istanbul imam Hatip Lisesi
- Occupation specialized high schools Research institutes The Marmara research center (TÜBITAK Marmara Arastirma Merkezi - TUBITAK MAM) in Gebze is with approximately 650 researcher inside and researchers the largest non-university research establishment in Turkey. It covers the institutes for information technologies, energy research, food research, chemistry and environmental research, material research, as well as ground connection and sea sciences. A technology park is attached in addition to the research center.
- Suleymaniye library (Süleymaniye Kütüphanesi), (Beyazit)
- Istanbul Celik Gulersoy library (Çelik Gülersoy Kütüphanesi), (Sultanahmet)
- Library of the Topkapi palace (Topkapi Sarayi Kütüphanesi) (Sultanahmet)
- Library of the archaeological museum (Arkeoloji Müzesi Kütüphanesi) (Sultanahmet)
- Kadin Eserleri Kütüphanesi (library of the woman works, Haliç)
- Atatürk library (Taksim)
- Library of the Goethe Institute (Beyoglu)
- American LIBRARY (Amerikan Kütüphanesi) (Tepebasi)
- Libraries of the universities
Istanbul has always been the centre of the country\'s economic life because of its location at an international junction of land and sea trade routes. The economy of Istanbul stands solid on two columns: national it dominates the trade and it has international significance. Istanbul has 20% of Turkey\'s industrial labour and 38% Turkey\'s industrial working place. The city occurs 55% of Turkey\'s trade and 45% of the coutries\' wholesale trade and Istanbul occurs 21.2% of Turkey\'s gross national product.Istanbul contributes tax with 40% of all taxes collected in Turkey and produces 27.5% of Turkey\'s national product.
Maslak is one of the newly developing commercial centers of Istanbul.
The economy in Istanbul registered an upward trend in the last years. The gross domestic product (GDP) grew by an average of 5% a year, since 1980. The Asian finanical crisis between July 1997 and at the beginning of 1998 and the crisis in Russia between August 1998 and in the middle of 1999 was in all ranges, particularly with the export, felt and showed negative effects to the economy. Despite this load, in the middle of 1999 a slow reorganization of the economy of Istanbul was observed , till the earthquake caused the second large economic shock for the city from the east with center Kocaeli in 17 August 1999 after the crisis in Russia. Apart from the capital losses caused by the disaster and the human losses, a decrease in GDP of approximately up to two per cent was observed.
Istanbul is today the controlling market and place of transshipment of Turkey. Turkey\'s major manufacturing factories are settled in the city. Istanbul province produces cotton, fruit, olive oil, silk, and tobacco. Food processing, textile production, oil products, rubber, metal ware, leather, chemicals, electronics, glass, machinery, paper and paper products and alcoholic drinks are among the major industrial products. The city also has plants that assemble automobiles and trucks.
Turkish investors and investors from all world made and make Istanbul an important commercial metropolis. One of the most important commercial branches is the tourism: The offer at hotels is large, from styleful luxury lodgings to inexpensive establishments are present everything. Istanbuls historical buildings, its cosmopolit charm, its many plates of satisfying Orientalism, its rising internationalism and its rich culture life attract many foreign and domestic tourists.
Traffic on an Istanbul street at peak hour
The city is an important junction in national and international long-distance traffic.
Istanbul has two international airports: The larger is the Ataturk International in Yesilköy , 24 kilometers from the city center which used to be at the edge of the European part but now inside of the city, the more modern is the airport Sabiha Gökçen Airport , 20 kilometers east of Asiatic side and 45 kilometers eastern from the European city centre.
The station Sirkeci is final stop for all railways on the European side. In long-distance traffic only one course drives daily (to Bucharest). Beyond the Bosphorus at the station Haydarpasa drive several times daily courses to Ankara, more rarely to other goals into Anatolia. For now the two stations are connected by ferry across the Bosphorus.The Marmaray project will connect the rail system with an interchange station which will also connect the metro system.
Taksim Square is often considered to be the heart of modern day Istanbul
The E5, E90 and Trans European Motorway (TEM) are the three main roads leading to Turkey from European borders; and the innercity borders to the east. The motorway net around Istanbul is developed and is constantly extended very well. Motorways lead after Ankara and Edirne. There are 2 express roads circling the city. The older one called E5 is mostly used for inner city traffic while the more recent TEM highway is mostly used by intercity or intercontinental traffic. Bosphorus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge respectively, provide the Bosphorus Strait passes for these two highways.
The port of Istanbul is the most important of the country. The old port at the golden horn serves primarily for the personal navigation. Regular transport service exists after Haifa and Odessa.
City and suburban traffic
Akmerkez was selected as the best shopping mall in the world in 1996
Modern Buildings and Structures with architectural significance
- Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadyumu
- Bosphorus Bridge
- Camlica TV Tower
- Cevahir Mall
- Endem TV Tower
- Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge
- Galata Bridge
- Is Bank Towers
- Reasürans Passage
- The Canyon Project
- Hospitals in Istanbul
- Istanbul Park - Offical Formula 1 Grand Prix Circuit
- Shopping malls in Istanbul
- Galatasaray (1905) have been Turkish national champions 15 times since 1959 and won the UEFA cup and the UEFA super Cup in the year 2000 . They play in the Ali Sami Yen Stadium , which has a capacity of scarcely 22,500 seats. A modern arena, which is to replace the current stadium, is planned within Seyrantepe. It will have up to 50,000 seats.
Atatürk Olympic Stadium
Galatasaray SK currently plays its european fixtures in the Ataturk Olympic Stadium . This was built for Turkey\'s bid to host the Olympics . Despite Turkey failing to win its bid, the stadium now hosts football matches, was awarded the accolade of five-star stadium in 2004 , and is now the second largest football stadium in Europe. The Atatürk Stadium hosted the 2005 Champions League final between Liverpool and AC Milan , which is widely regarded as one of the greatest Champions League finals of all time.
- Fenerbahçe (1907) have been national champions 16 times since 1959 . The club\'s home games take place in the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in the Kadiköy quarter. Its capacity is 51,500 spectators. Since the summer of 2003, Christoph Daum has been Coach of the Turkish first league side.
- Besiktas is the oldest Turkish sports association (1903). The 12-time national champion plays home games in the Inonu Stadium in the Besiktas district. It has a capacity of 32,000.
Other sports like basketball and volleyball are very popular. In addition to Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Besiktas, which field teams in multiple sports, other clubs have high profiles in those sportsamong them Turkey\'s most prominent basketball clubs, Efes Pilsen and Ülker ; and the Eczacibasi (Eczacibasi) and Vakifbank volleyball clubs. Golf, shooting, riding and tennis gain ever more significance. For Aerobic, bodybuilding and gymnastic equipment, numerous fitness clubs are available. Paintball belonges to the new kinds of sport and is already represented in two large clubs in the proximity of Istanbul. Eastern kinds of sport such as Aikido and Yoga have become more popular in recent years. There are several centers in the city where they can be exercised.
Istanbul has 44 sister cities
- Ahmet Ertegun , Founder of Atlantic Records
- Ajda Pekkan , Singer
- Arto Tunçboyaciyan , Musician
- Aziz Nesin , Novelist
- Daron Acemoglu , Economist
- Fatma Girik , Actress
- Hedo Türkoglu , Basketball Star
- Hülya Koçyigit , Actress
- Müjde Ar , Actress
- Pekinel sisters , Pianists
- Recep Tayyip Erdogan , Prime Minister of Turkey
- Semiha Berksoy , Opera singer
- Sertab Erener , Singer
- Ara Güler , Photographer
- Yusuf Kars , Portrait photographer
- Orhan Pamuk , Novelist
Source: Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Wikipedia, Istanbul City Information Guide
Piri Reis, an admiral of the Ottoman Fleet in the 16th century is the author of Kitab-i Bahriyye which is history\'s first-known sea pilot\'s book. Every Mediterranean port is accurately described and the charts are almost perfect, reflecting the author\'s considerable knowledge of the Mediterranean, which partly belonged to his empire (the area stretching from Morocco to Venice).
In 1550, or thereabouts, Piri Reis produced charts of North and South America and here again he has achieved amazing accuracy. How he did it is one of history\'s unsolved mysteries.
In Kitab-i Bahriyye, there is a chapter about Kalkan Bay, wherein the author has described with pinpoint precision Kalkan\'s fresh water supply, the supply which is mainstay of the village today. From him we also learn that the bay was also called ALIKI-KARA or ALKI-KAARA and that the western tip of the bay was named KALAMOÇ. Kalkan the Turkish name and Kalamaki, the Greek name may have been derived from these origins. At the time of writing, Piri Reis does not mention a settlement in the bay. (16th century)
Often compared with Southern California, Lycia has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and warm wet winters. The sea water temperature rarely drops below 16°C thus enabling swimmers to have an eight to nine month bathing season.
On a beautiful day in the middle of the winter it is a pleasure to walk on the hillsides overlooking the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean, basking in the sun and enjoying the perfume of thyme, laurel, and sage arising from the "maquis". On such a day it is not rare for the temperature to reach 20°-22°C. (70°F)
The hottest days of the hottest months are cooled down by the "Meltem" which is a breeze which blows every afternoon. Nevertheless, people who have problems coping with the heat are recommended to visit the region during the spring , early summer, or in the autumn.
This temperature climate is the reason for a non-stop agricultural season which keeps the farmers busy the whole year round with an average of 300 days of sun per year.
How to Get to Kalkan
By Road:Lycia is connected to the rest of the Turkey by the coastal road which follows along the Mediterranean between Fethiye and Antalya. Another important road connecting Central Anatolia with Lycia, joins the coastal road 26 kilometers beyond Fethiye at Kemer Junction. From Elmali, there are two good roads which link with Kas and Finike. In spite of the rugged nature of the countryside, the road system is constantly being improved.
By Air:The international airports of Dalaman and Antalya are within easy reach of any place in the Teke Peninsula. Turkish Airlines has several flights from Istanbul and Ankara which serve these airports on a daily basis. Foreign airlines are also increasing their use of Dalaman and Antalya in their direct flight programs.
By Sea:The regular ferryboat service from Italian ports (verify with your travel agent the exact details and schedules) permits travelers to sail to Kusadasi or Izmir an then to continue by road to Lycia enjoying en route some spectacular scenery. In 1991, Antalya was included in the ferryboat program from Italy. During summer months, Turkish Maritime Lines have regular boat services along the Mediterranean coast.
By Bus:Turkey can boast having one of the best coach/bus systems in the world and in this way every major township in Lycia is connected with the rest of the Turkey.
By Car:One of the best ways to reach to visit Lycia is to rent a car, a mini-bus, or even better a four-wheel drive. At Dalaman and Antalya airports almost every international vehicle renting company has a stand alongside their Turkish counterpart and an excellent service is provided. Caravan rentals are beginning and becoming increasingly popular.
Note: Tourists are reminded to carry their driving licenses when on holiday.
Day & Night in Kalkan
Kalkan is a prime location from which a great variety of tours can be organized. Kalkan itself is a very rewarding holiday spot.
Start your day with a lazy breakfast on the terrace of your hotel/pension or in once of the restaurants along the marina, watching the heavy traffic of boats moving in and out of the harbor. For your "day on the beach" Kalkan offers you a choice: A large public beach stretches along the front but you will probably discover your own favorite spot somewhere along the coast. The water will always be sparkling clean. You may also choose a very original Kalkan "day-spender" formula: the beach clubs. These are platform beaches accross the harbor, reached by frequent shuttle boat service from the marina. "The platforms" provide everything a holiday-maker can need or dream of, from a sophisticated tequila cocktail to beach mats. This formula is extremely popular among our visitors who will spend their holiday in one of these beach clubs. Every one has a favorite but all offer very good services. They are open all day long and even for dinne by candle light!
If your idea of a holiday is discovering a virgin sandy coast you may spend your day at Patara. Beachi one of the most beautiful beaches in Turkey. Frequent and efficient minibus service from the town square is very cheap. You will find basic restaurants for food and beverages as well as umbrellas, etc. Although much smaller the remarkable sandy beach of Kaputas, a few miles from Kalkan, is a wonder, do not miss it. Finally, you have yet another way to spend your day in liquid!
Several hotels offer excellent swimming pools open to the puclic.
After a hot day at the beach you may return to your hotel to prepare for the second part of your day, which often proves to be just as long if not longer than the first : Night life in Kalkan . Your evening may strat by shopping and walkng around in the cool breeze typical at nightfall. All shops stay open until the early hours of the morning and often a silk carpet will be puchased just before returning to your hotel after a long and enjoyable evening.
Kalkan has certainly the highest number of restaurants and bars per inhibitant or per square metre on the Turkish coast. Almost every pension or hotel has its roof or terrace-bar serving all kinds of ,nternational drinks or cocktails. After a Sundowner you will find a table in one of the 40 or so restaurants of Kalkan. It would be wise to make a reservation for a front row table. Most of the restaurants offer an open buffet with a great choice of starters (meze) followed by fish or grilled meat Turkish style. For more conservative paletes, international cousine is also available. Prices are displayed at the entrance except for fish, which is subject to bargaining. The Turkish way of dining is to begin with a selection from ten or more cold straters plus two or three hot ones which will be followed by a main course (accompained by raki, wine or beer) and ending with fruit or dessert and famous Tukish coffee. The meal usually stretches for hours and will finish close to midnight. Finally you may walk through the animated cobbled streets and stop to sip a last one before returning to your hotel after a lovely long day.
Source: Kalkan Org
Kas was one of the most important cities of Lycia, and is now a small resort with great historical interest. Its quaint town centre has a rocky waterfront, with good beaches nearby. There are watersports available in the area, like canoeing,jet-skiing, diving and paragliding, plus cavern diving, which uses technical equipment to explore the deep and dark caverns. For those who love travelling on the water, the Mavi Yolculuk (Blue Voyage) tours, and other excursions on boats, can be madeto the surrounding islands.
Habesos is the earliest known name of the ancient city, as proved from archaeological findings. But the name Antiphellos is far more familiar, and this was the harbour of ancient Phellos. Excavations here have revealed a settlement dating back to the4th century BC, possibly earlier, although it reached its height of importance during the Roman and Byzantine periods, when it was a centre for Bishops. It had also been significant in the world of sea-faring commerce, and during the Roman era wasespecially famous for its exported sponges. It was attacked by Arabs, then added to the territory of the Anatolian Seljuks, and took the name Andifli. After the destruction of the Anatolian Seljuk state, the Ottomans added it to its lands. The name Kas means eyebrow, or something curved, describing the shape of the town under the backdrop of 500m high cliffs behind.
Summers are hot and dry in Kas, quite typical of Mediterranean region, and can reach around 35 degrees during the day. Winters are warm during the day although can get cool at night, and can drop below 10 degrees.
How to Get
Kas is accessible from Fethiye, or from Antalya. If coming from Ankara, it is much quicker to take the route through Elmali and Gombe, rather than the Antalya coastal route. There are services to Istanbul (12 hours), Antalya (4 hours), and Fethiye(2½ hours), and dolmuses make the shorter journeys to the beaches of Patara, Kalkan and Kapitas. The bus station is on the north side of town.
Bus Station Tel: (0242) 836 1020
Kas is 192 km from Antalya Airport and 160 km from Dalaman Airport.
Antalya Airport Tel: (0242) 330 30 30 - 330 36 00.
Dalaman Airport Tel: (0242) 792 5291
Where to Visit
An ideal place to escape the summer heat is Gombe, 60km north of Kas, in the cool plateau of the Akdag mountain range. The forest-covered route with pine and cedar trees almost conceal the village, famous for its cools springs and apple orchards.Akdag is the highest mountain in this range, reaching 3024m, and the villages of Yesilgol and Ucarsu are good for trekking. The herbs which grow in this area are used in local cooking and there are several restaurants in the main square. There is afamous festival of the local Tahtacis in June, and a farmers\' fair in late August.
A well-maintained and quiet harbour town, Kalkan is 25km west of Kas. It is an attractive town, once a fishing village occupied by the Ottoman Greeks. It has become increasingly popular since the 1980s, with a huge holiday village covering thesouthern hillside. The small town centre which overlooks the bay is filled with quaint, traditional white-washed houses, shuttered windows and balconies with brilliantly-coloured flowers. The marina caters for the requirements of visiting yachts, aswell as several restaurants and shops in the main centre.Yacht Marina Tel: (0242) 844 3204, fax: 836 1030.
Beyond Tlos, Saklikent is a spectacular gorge cut into the Akdaglar mountains. 18 km long, the sides are so deep and steep that no sun penetrates, so the water always remains icy cold. Access to the start of the gorge is along a wooden boardwalksuspended above the water, then after crossing the river, it is fairly straightforward to walk through the gorge for 6km. In the summer, there are tours arranged from Kas and Kalkan.Opening hours: Daily 08.00 - 17.00.
This is the original name of the ancient Lycian town, although there is little left of Antiphellos except a well-preserved ancient theatre and Lycian rock tombs. One of the most important of these ruins is the Monument Tomb, a Lychian inscribed tombmounted on a high base, dating back to 4th century BC, also called King\'s Tomb. Another important item is the ancient theatre, dating back to 1st century BC which once had a capacity of 4000 people.
This well-preserved theatre is the only one in Anatolia to be overlooking the sea. It lies 500m west of the main square.Northeast of the theatre is a house-style tomb dating back to the 4th century BC. It has been constructed by cutting into the natural rock, lies 3.5m high with engravings of 24 girls dancing. Near Hastsane Caddesi, on the western coast of the town,there is a temple whose foundations date back to the Roman era.
Once a principle harbour of ancient Lycia, Patara was the birthplace of Apollo, according to Greek legend. This village covering a wide area on the eastern part of the harbour is 41km from Kas and has one of the best beaches in the area, a white goldenstretch around 20km long. Patara gained importance during the Byzantine period, because it was the birthplace of St Nicholas, the 4th century bishop better known as his other identity, Santa Claus. St Paul, one of Christ\'s disciples, boarded a shipfrom Patara to Rome. The ruins lie 1km from the beach, and include several Lycian tombs, a basilica, Corinthian temple and a theatre. Access is possible by dolmus from most adjacent towns, although not at night. The Lycian Roman monuments can be seen when entering Patara. From the Vespasianus Hamam, constructed between 69 79 AD, the adjacent footpath reaches the main, marble-covered street of Patara. At the end of the street are the wide walls of theByzantine Castle, and east of that is the Corynth Temple. Patara Theatre, built in the 2nd century BC, is at the foot of the hill and had a capacity for around 10,000 people. It was filled with wind-swept sand but after cleaning revealed its structure, and archaeological excavations are still continuing. The beach is one of the longest in Turkey, with a width of up to 1500m. Declared a Special Environmental Preservation Region by the Ministry of the Environment, it is a major breeding area for the caretta-caretta sea turtles, and during thereproductive season there are strictly applied restrictions to preserve their habitat.
Along the east coast of the Esen River, 45km from Kas, Xanthos was the capital and grandest city of the Lycian Union, but has had a chequered history. Surface findings from the city acropolis reveals that the settlement dates back to the 8th centuryBC. Initial research was performed by Englishman Charles Fellows in 1838, which probably explains why the Nereidler and Harpyler monuments, the Payave Tomb and Aslani Grave were taken to the British Museum in 1842. The city walls were repaired during the Roman and Byzantium periods, and strengthened with additions to the width. At the south end, a gate dates back to 2nd century BC, and behind this there is Victory Arch belonging to Emperor Vesoasianus. To thesouthwest, the original settlement of the city is the Lychian Acropolis, now badly ruined, with a Byzantine Church.
Felen Plateau (Phellos)
The region of hills over the Felen Plateau, 12km from Kas, was a highly important city during the 4th century BC. Antiphellos was the harbour of Phellos, and some of the surrounding city walls still remain. Also surrounding the city is a tomb,decorated with reliefs, 4th century tombs and rock-cut graves.
Isinda, on the hills near Belendi village 13km from Kas, was a small Lycian city and surrounded by ramparts. In the middle of the city\'s acropolis, two tombs with Lycian inscriptions are the main attractions. There are also many Lycian rock tombs fromthe Roman period.
This important plateau village is 20 minutes walks from Pirha ruins, an ancient city 850m above the sea. There are many rock graves, all facing the sea, and the tombs are more irregularly positioned. The statues and reliefs that were uncovered hereare now in the Antalya Museum.
80km from Kas, this is another important plateau village, with ruins 15 minutes walk away. Neiseus, the city\'s Lycian name, is written on the theatre wall. In Nisa, there are ancient ruins from the Lycian and Roman periods, and on the front of some ofthe tombs there are images of spears, shields, women and men. Coins produced during this time are exhibited in Antalya Museum.
Kas has become an important diving centre which in turn is a significant part of the tourist industry for Turkish and foreign visitors. Diving clubs operate from the harbour, and compete with each other for accessing the oldest submerged ruins of theMediterranean. The area has arguably the best visibility and variety of sea life along the Turkish coast, and the relatively short distance to the dive sites means that half-day trips are very popular. Weekends during the summer can get very busy, asit offers some of the cheapest diving areas in the country. There are many impressive sea caverns around Kas which are accessible through diving. These include: Kekova Island, Asirli Island, Guvercin Inn, and Mavi Cavern, which is the most famous.
The Esen river, 45km from Kas, is a great place for canoeing, with several agencies in the area supplying equipment and organising tours. Beginning at the Kinik region, a 15km paddle ends at Parara beach. The river is calm so it is a relatively easyjourney, with attractive surroundings of trees and foliage. The trip also includes breaks for food, swimming and mud baths. For canoeing in the sea, the best place is the village of Ucagiz, accessible from Kas by road. The four-hour organised tripinvolves paddling past unique bays, and the historical sites of the Submerged City and Simena, with breaks for swimming and food.
As Kas and the Lycian cities are close to each other, trekking is a popular way of exploring the region, with routes and maps available. Paths available for walking will go around the peninsula to Limanagzi, Gedife Hill, Phellos, Gokceoren, Mount Asaz,and the Gombe plateau. Kas is a good place to start the Lycian Way, Turkey\'s first walking trail, which is a 30-day walk around the coast and mountains.
Kas is one of the most important stops on the Blue Voyage, as well as a good starting point, and exploring the coast between Kas and Bodrum on motor schooner or yacht is popular with visitors. The boats for hire around the Kas Harbour are usually wellequipped with water, electricity, gas, shower and laundry service often provided.
Kas had proved to be one of the best places in Turkey for hillside parachuting, mainly due to the geography and climate. There are good, reputable companies operating from the town, with modern equipment and qualified supervisors.
Kas has the cleanest and clearest waters in the Mediterranean with little or no pollution, so fishing has developed into quite a lucrative industry. The most common in this area arelobster, grey and red mullet, lobster, octopus and tuna. Recently,trout farms have been established around Gombe and Saklikent.
Out towards the southeast of town are the beaches of Kucukcakil, Buyukcakil and Akcagerme, which are quite stony. One of the nicest in terms of its tranquil location is Limanagzi, accessible only by boat, and surrounded by a tiny cove with olivetrees. The tiny beach of Kaputas is 19km away, and lies at the bottom of 192 rocky steps from the road, giving it a unique setting when viewing it from a distance. It too is quite stony, and the current can be very strong, but an attractive andrelatively peaceful place for picnics and sunbathing.
What to Eat
Eating in Kas is quite typical of the Mediterranean. Fresh agricultural products are grown in the region every season, and the fish is especially common. Karakovan honey and pine honey, and molasses made from carob is readily available and found inthe Friday Market. In restaurants around town, there is a great selection of Turkish cuisine and seafood.
What to Buy
Hand-made small carpets and textiles are produced regionally, especially the unique barak carpets, and woven goat-hair products. Walnut trees are made into dowry chests, rolling pins and wooden spoons, and are characteristic of the area. There aremany shops along Uzun Carsi (Long Market) in the town centre, selling carpets, handicrafts, and designer clothing. The Friday Market, held in a large open field to the north of town, has a great selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses, olivesand honey produced from the surrounding villages, as well as hand-woven fabrics.
Don\'t Leave Without
Visiting surrounding antic cities,
Seeing the submerged city of Ucagiz on a boat tour,
Trying adventure sports like hillsideparachuting and diving,
"Buying locally made barak kilims (small carpets)" ,
Tasting Karakovan Honey, carob molasses,
Shopping for fresh produce and fabrics at the Friday Bazaar.
Municipality: ( 90 242) 836 10 20
Tourism Information Office: ( 90 242) 836 12 38
Police: ( 90 242) 836 25 96
Gendarme: ( 90 242) 836 10 07
Hospital: ( 90 242) 836 1185
Harbor Directorate: ( 90 242) 836 10 39
Coastal Guard: ( 90 242) 836 24 55
Source: Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Kemer is an important tourism center with green and blue met qualified, resort, restaurant and beach facilities, yacht ports and historical cities.
Summers are hot and dry, and winters are warm and precipitating.
How to Get
Being road parallel to the coast, allows you to see beautiful panoramas throughout road. There is a transportation chance by minibus from Antalya coaching station alternatively per ten minutes. It is one hour away from Antalya International Airport. Also reaching to Kemer via maritime lines is possible.
Where to Visit
One of the leading attractivenesses of Kemer is its natural beauty. Sea, forest and mountains are joining at one point. For example, reaching sea waves till pine trees and usage of pine trees as shady spots at beaches is very attractive. Clearance of the sea, green of forest is another beauty in Kemer.
Presence of Faselis, Olympos like antic regions near to it is another attractiveness. It is possible to reach Faselis and Olympos from Kemer by maritime lines and road. Recently organized safari tours to Sögüt Cumasi, Altinyaka Dere Village like high places can also be mentioned among regional attractiveness.
Caverns are also other attractiveness within the region. One of these caverns, Beldibi cavern is 27 km south west of Antalya, and at shore. Ruins of prehistoric ages are found. Another valuble to see cavern is Molla Deligi cavern, and present on eastern slope of Mount Tahtali, which rises at west of Kemer. You can only reach to this cavern by foot from Asagi Kuzeydere or Tekirova villages on Kemer - Kumluca highway. You should walk 3.5 - 4 hours from both villages.
It is at 58th km of Antalya - Finike road. It is also possible to reach Phaselis city by maritime lines, which is 15 km away from Kemer.
It is thought that one of the eastern coastal cities of Lycia, Phaselis is one of the commercial cities of Hellenistic Age of VIth century B. C. It becomes a bishop center during Romans. Thick walls of eastern port of Phasellis, composed of three ports, are still in good condition. Western port, whose front and western parts are remained under sands is appropriate for having a swim.
Most parts of the ruins, which are on ground in Phaselis are remained from Roman period. These ruins are; port, castle walls, Zeus Temple, King Antonius Caravella road, also twenty lined theater ruins. Peninsula\'s throat part composing street is marvelous. It begins from south port and reaches to city gates. It is thought that it is also used as a stadium from time to time due to width and shortness of this street. Because history writes that two important athletism competitions are performed within Phaselis.
There are two temples near to Agora. One of them is constructed for the sake of "Athena Polias", which is a highly important goddess for Phaselis. Other one is for the sake of "Heista" and "Hermes". There were bronze made spear of Homer\'s mythological hero, Acchileus within Athena among these temples. Building ruins, a church as well as houses of bishops among these ruins can be faced at sides of the street. Aqueducts, which are covering the water needs of the city, are constructed with Roman style and still in very good condition.
There is also a museum, in which some ancient pieces of art excavated in Phaselis. Also here is drawing attention as an ideal promenade and beach place, composed of a shallow bay, fine sands and a forest, and mountain, sea besides historical beauties.
It is between Kemer and Adrasan. After passing Phaselis, a plate on Antalya - Kumluca road, shows Olympos road. Çirali is an ancient coastal village beside Olympos. The city, which is found on 2nd century B. C. is emptied on 6th century. Famous Bellerophontres - Chimera war is made here. An hour of walking on a tight and uneven slope coming from a river bed after Çirali will bring you to Chimera\'s unique natural ambient. Chimera is known by the natives as "Yanartas" due to continuously burning natural gas, which is coming from mountain.
Daily jeep safaris from Kemer to Toroslar, are organized by agencies, expert on this subject.
Tourism agencies are organizing bicycle tours on routes at Kemer\'s environment.
There is horse riding possibility with horse riding teachers in the stables within resort facilities at Kemer and its environment, in case of requirement.
Kemer Yacht Port is serving a qualified service to the yachters. Blue tours, first founded in Kemer, is giving the possibility to see bays and ports between Kemer and Kas, antic settlements and natural beauties.
Don\'t Leave Without
Visiting Beldibi Cavern, Faselis and Olympos antic city,
Staying in wooden houses in Olympos,
Seeing the fire burning for centuries in Çirali,
Participating to Jeep safari and Blue Tour,
Going for swimming in their beautiful beaches.
Municipality: ( 90 242) 814 15 03
Hospital: ( 90 242) 814 15 50
Police: ( 90 -242) 814 15 46
Source: Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Kemer Marina
Köycegiz, which is 60 km. away from Mugla is a unique beautiful borough with its citrus gardens, spread around the lake with descending from a plain, its village houses, its calm lake, marshes around the lake, its mountains changing their colors from purple to blue.
Mediterranean climate is seen at coastal part of the Köycegiz, and continental climate is seen at mountainous regions of it. Köycegiz, which is the second place for rain after Rize in Turkey, winter rains can continue for 3 or 4 months.
Province center of Köycegiz, which took its name from the lake near to it, become a Dalyan village for a while, but as a result of disturbance of connection with Mugla due to floods it is moved to its today\'s place. It was homeland for Carians and Mentesogullarina, and become government during Murat II period. Together with the establishment of our Republic, it become a province of Mugla city.
Where to Visit
It is accepted that first settlement is till to the 1000 B. C. Lycia, Caria and Romans are the ones who settled here. Acropolis and ramparts, theater, Roman bath, round fountain revealed during excavations, temple and agora are the visible ruins here.
Rock graves near to the Dalyan channel which connects Köycegiz lake and Mediterranean are dated as 4th century B. C.
There is a mosque constructed during Mentese period. Benliler Mausoleum, Nasuh Dede Mausoleum and Kargin Kürü Mausoleum are valuable to see religious places.
It is one of the most valuable to see places with its natural beauties and historical values. Akköprü is constructed within its name mentioned village over Dalaman stream. There are some aqueducts on the bridge thought to be constructed by Byzantium.
Kulak Menre place which is 1 km. away from the province, Agla Camping Area in which Acilik fountain, where drinking water is maintained, is present as well as Toprak water camp are the main promenade places.
Sultaniye Thermal and Mineral Springs It is operated by Caunoses on 100 B. C. Ruins of this afterwards widen thermal spring with new additions during Bizantium period are within the lake today. It is recommended for rheumatism, nephritis, mental tiredness, skin and gynecological diseases, kidney and urethra diseases. As well as it can be reached with a short road voyage from Köycegiz, you can also reach there via motor from lake.
People who have participated to a ship tour from the strait which connects Köycegiz lake to Mediterranean are stroll between narrow corridors, which are not known where to enter and where to leave. Peninsula is just like a haven with at the left side, a 80 - 100 m. wide, kilometers long, forest entering sand sea, at the right side, bays within pine forests.
It is a unique beautiful beach on which Caretta - Carettas are lying their eggs.
Yachting When you go to Marmaris from Dalyan, there are bays, peninsulas and natural beaches sealed within each other. Ekincik, Karagaç, Aksanlar like secret havens can be found there
What to Buy Pinks and hand - painted handkerchiefs, honey, handicrafts are the souvenirs that can be bought from the region.
Don\'t Leave Without
Seeing Rock Graves, Participating to Lake - Dalyan Channels, Iztuzu Beach ship tours, Visiting public bazaar, Buying waxed fish egg.
Source: Western Kentucky University, Wikipedia
This seaside resort town has grown immensely in the last 30 years, and is especially popular with package holiday-makers from Europe. From a population of 6000 in the 1970s, it is now closer to 50,000, although a high proportion of this are part of the tourist industry and here only for the summer. Many cruising ships travelling around the Aegean Islands stop here, especially because of its close proximity (20km) to Selcuk. Kusadasi is a good base to explore this and other ancient cities like Priene and Didyma.
Although there is little of historical interest in Kusadasi itself, the town is popular predominantly because of its many hotels, restaurants, souvenir and carpet shops, and lively nightlife. The Kale district has some old traditional houses and narrow streets, and gives some indication of what the town used to be like. The most famous beach is Kadinlar Plaji, 2.5km south of the town, dominated by huge hotels and can get very crowded in summer. There are several small beaches further south, and
closer to town is Yilanci Burnu, the peninsular.
How to Get
For most long-distance bus journeys, it is necessary to change at Izmir, 90 minutes away, which has many more choices. Smaller buses make regular trips to Bodrum (2 hours), Pamukkale (3 hours) and Selcuk (30 mins), and dolmuses run a shuttle service to the beaches to the south of Kusadasi. There is a bus service that stops near Izmir\'s airport. Buses either depart from the bus station, or from the town centre.
Bus Station Tel: (90 256) 614 3981.
There are two main harbours in the town. Cruise ships arrive throughout the year, and there are sailings to the Greek island of Sisam (Samos) with daily departures between April 1 and October 20. In the new yacht harbour the largest and best-equipped northwest of Marmaris with a capacity of 650 the Blue Voyage boats organise regular excursions.
Marina, Kusadasi Setur Tel: (90 256) 614 17 52,
Fax: 614 1758
The nearest airport is Izmir\'s Adnan Menderes, 90 minutes by road. There are many domestic flights to Istanbul and Ankara, as well as European charter flights.
Airport Tel: (90 232) 274 2187
Where to Visit
Güvercin Adasi (Pigeon Island)
This tiny island off the west coast of the town is just a few hundred metres from the mainland, and connected by walkway. It contains a fortress, which was constructed by the Ottomans and restored and strengthened in 1834. Kusadasi was an important defensive port along the Ottoman Aegean coast, and the fortress helped prevent attacks coming from the islands. It is now a relaxing place with landscaped terraces and several teahouses and snack bars.
CRUISER and YACHT PORTS
There are two wharfs, where tourist ships are approaching and also a yacht port with 650 yacht capacity in Kusadasi. Ships are approaching to Kusadasi Port during all seasons. Passenger motor voyages are regularly organized from Kusadasi port to Greek Island, Sisam (Samos) during spring and summer months (Every day between 1st April and 20th October), and during winter months these voyages are turned as charters. There are daily and hourly picnic touring passenger motors in the port, and
Blue Tour organizing yachts are also in the yacht port.
MOSQUE and CARAVANSERAIS
Kale Içi Mosque
It is constructed on 1618 by Grand Vizier Öküz Pasa.
Öküz Mehmet Pasa Caravansary
Built in 1618 by Grand Vizier Okuz Pasa, there are artillery holes still visible on the external walls, in an effort to protect the city against pirates. It is now a luxury hotel.
The most famous beach in the area is Kadinlar Denizi (Ladies\' Beach), 3km south of town and well connected by dolmus, which is very crowded in high season. Guvercin Adasi has rocky shores but it is possible to swim, and there is a small beach 500m north of Yilanci Burnu peninsula. A better beach is Pamucak,15km north on the road to Selcuk.
The most important thermal springs in the area are Ciban (Yavansu), Venus and Guzelcamli.
NATIONAL and NATURAL PARKS
Büyük Menderes Delta National Park
Don\'t Leave Without
Seeing Öküz Mehmet Pasa Caravanserai,
Visiting Guvercin Fortress,
Swimming on one of the many beaches,
Relaxing in Dilek Peninsula National Park,
Getting a famous Blue Voyage,
Trying out some of the bars and nightclubs.
Address: Iskele Meydani
Tel: (90 256) 614 11 03
Fax: (90 256) 614 6295
Private Kusadasi Hospital
Address: Türkmen Mahallesi Anit Sokak
Tel: (90 256) 613 1616
Source: Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Once a sleepy fishing village, Marmaris has ballooned into one of the largest resorts on the Aegean coast, if not Turkey. Little of its history remains, as the town is now a modern development with tourism at its heart and soul. The population swells to a massive 200,000 in the summer, with most hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and shops catering to low-cost package holidays, although there are facilities for all budgets.
Despite the development which reaches around 10km along the west of the bay, Marmaris is also well-known for its expanse of green, present the whole year round thanks to the pine-covered hills which surround the town. There are many beaches around the bay, and there are ancient cities and seaside villages close by for day trips. The yacht harbour is the biggest and newest in Turkey, and therefore the busiest charter port especially for trips along the Turquoise Coast.
In addition to the climate, beaches and facilities of the town, the transportation infrastructure is a definite plus for attracting visitors. It has easy connections to the nearby airport Dalaman, ferries to Rhodes, and on the road to Datca and Fethiye. The harbour has attracted private boats from around the world, with yacht maintenance and production in the workshops on the Yalanci Strait. With the climate being comfortable even in winter, and the nearby impressive mountains and pine forests, Marmaris is likely to remain a popular and practical holiday spot for a long time.
It is thought that the first settlement in Marmaris, whose history dates back to 3400 BC, began with the arrival of a tribe to the region, whose leader was called Kar. The area was then called Karla after him, and its location around the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas always made it an appealing region.
Suleyman the Magnificent assembled a force of 200,000 in 1522, whilst launching the siege of the Knights of St John\'s base in Rhodes (Rodos). Soon afterwards, he made the city more powerful with the rebuilding of the tiny castle overlooking the town. Lord Nelson and his entire fleet sheltered in the harbour in 1798, en route to Egypt to defeat Napoleon\'s armada at the Battle of Aboukir.
Marmaris therefore became a place where different civilisations reigned over time, and there is architectural and historical evidence of Egyptian, Asdur, Ion, Dor, Persian, Macedonian, Syrian, Roman, Byzantium, Seljuk and Ottoman presence.
Summers are extremely hot and dry, with daytime temperatures reaching up to 35 degrees, and winters are warm and wet, plunging to 5 degrees at night. The area is quite typical of a Mediterranean climate.
Where to Visit
Thought to have been constructed by the Ionians, this small castle on the hill was repaired during the time of Alexander the Great. It was widened and repaired again by Suleyman the Magnificent 1522, during which time his 200,000 troops attacked and seized the island of Rhodes.
The castle opened as a museum in 1991, after restorations that took ten years. It has seven galleries, and has a collection of archaeological, historical, ethnographic and nautical exhibits. The views of the city are wonderful, with a wonderful panorama day and night.
Marmaris Castle is nationalized on 1979, and restored between 1980 and 1990. Marmaris Museum, is facilitated within Marmaris Castle, and opened for visitors officially on 18th May, 1991. There are seven galleries within castle, two of these are used as warehouses. One gallery is Archeological pieces of arts hall. Third gallery, which is ethnographic hall is organized as Turk house. Fourth gallery is organized as the room of Castle Commander. There is also an exhibition hall within the museum.
Tashan and Kemerli Bridge
The bridge, 10km along the Mugla road in the Iskelebasi region, was constructed by Suleyman the Magnificent, and has arched bridges built from stone and brick.
It is possible to see the ruins at Physkos, an important harbour city of the ancient Caria region, on the Asar hill north of Marmaris. The old city walls dating back to the Hellenistic period are still fairly intact.
The ruins at Loryma, once part of the foundations of Rhodes, was founded originally in the region known as Oplosica (artillery smith), the waterside thicket on the southwest of the Bozburun peninsula 40km from Marmaris. The most impressive structure in the settlement area is the well-preserved reinforcement at the entrance of the bay at Burunbasi. Nine rectangular towers, made from smooth rock-cut masonry, are built at the edge of Rhodes (Rodos) island. Today, only the balcony tower at the northern end can still be seen.
The ancient ruins of Amos are accessible from the Asarcik hill, northwest of Kumlubuk bay. Amos dates back to the Hellenistic period, and is composed of a hillside amphitheatre, a temple and statue pedestals. Surrounded by ramparts dating back to the same time, this amphitheatre is in good condition, with its seating area, side walls and stage with three chambers. Excavations in 1948 by Prof. Bean revealed four inscriptions, which mentioned three rental contracts, thought to date back to around 200BC. There is a minibus running from Turunc to Kumlubuku which passes through Amos.
Cedrae (Cleopatra or City Islands)
The ancient ruins of Cedrae in the island of Saray, date back to the Hellenistic Roman era. What is known as the City Islands is comprised of Orta Island and Kucuk Island. The remains of the ramparts can be easily seen from the distance.
The island took its name from the rumour that Cleopatra swam with the locals in a small bay at the northwest of the island. Furthermore, she was supposed to have entered the sea with Mark Anthony, the sands of which were transferred from Northern Africa via ships by Anthony which may be true as this type of sand is only seen in Egypt.
The remains of buildings surrounded by ramparts on the east of Saray island date back from the Roman and Hellenistic period, and the small amphitheatre is in the best condition. The Christian Basilica was constructed over the pedestals of the Apollo Temple, belonging to Dors. There is an Agora on the west of Saray with inscriptions suggesting that athletics festivals devoted to Apollo were organised in the region. There are Necropolis ruins at Kucuk Island, as well as column reliefs.
The rampart ruins dating back to the Hellenistic era lie in Hydas, 35km from Marmaris along the Erine-Bybassios road, with a square planned monument to the south.
There are rampart ruins, remaining from Hellenistic Era in Hydas, 35 km. away from Marmaris on Erine - Bybassios road route, and a square planned monument, at south of these ruins. There are several tombs around a watchtower, 3 km from Hydas. The ancient region of Hydas was founded in the Selimiye bay (Kamisli Bay) north of the Bozburun peninsula.
The ruins of Erine are 3km from the Hisaronu village, 20km southwest of Marmaris, and date back to the Hellenistic and Roman period.
Near the village of Hisarlik are the ancient ruins of Pazarlik, a holy site which can be reached from Mount Eren with an hour\'s climb from Hisaronu plains. The temple is on a purpose-built platform dating back to 4th century BC. Apart from the Temple, only the ruined amphitheatre in the south can be defined.
Near the village of Sogut, 45 km of Marmaris, Saranda still has the characteristics of being a continuous settlement during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantium periods, the latter of which clearly has remains today.
What remains of the ancient city of Bybassios can be seen in the village of Orhaniye, on the Erine road towards Bozburun, southwest of Marmaris. The ruins of the ramparts are found inside the forest.
The reinforced ramparts surrounding the settlement area, in the west part of the Cedrai-Marmaris line, are in very good condition. There is also the extension of an ancient wharf. The ruins can be reached along the Karacasogut road.
MAUSOLEUMS and MOSQUES
The mausoleum, in the district of Sariana, has a bird\'s eye view of the city and has a new mosque adjacent to it. Before the Rodos expedition, it was here that Kanuni had visited Fatma Ana (Sariana) who was famous for her predictions,. After she gave him a positive response, he commenced the siege. Before his departure from Marmaris, thousands of Ottoman soldiers left on their journey after a nourishing breakfast of the milk from Sariana\'s cow.
Ibrahim Aga Mosque
Constructed by Ibrahim Aga in 1789 in the Kemeralti district, its most striking architectural feature is the huge dome.
BEACHES and PROMENADES
The peninsular island of Cennet, a 30 minute boat journey, is covered with forest and has accommodation and restaurants. It is a popular stop for cruise and tour boats throughout the season, as is suitable for swimming and eating.
This natural cavern is a popular stopping point for sailing tours going on to Turunc and Kumlubuk, offering clean, green waters ideal for swimming.
Famed for its drinking water which used to be considered good for the digestive system, the Sultaniye Kaplicalari thermal springs and mud baths lie 10km from the province, close to Dalyan. It is a popular area, with beach and facilities for tourists, and can be reached via boat or road from Koycegiz or Dalyan.
Once a tiny farming and fishing village, Turunc has developed since the late 1980s into an upmarket tourist resort, with hotels, villas and restaurants. The village, on the east coast of the Hisaronu peninsula, is 21km from Marmaris and accessible by road and sea. Its main attraction for Turkish and foreign tourists is its stunning location, and 500m beach of course sand with a backdrop of pine-tufted cliffs.
The village, 6km by road from Turunc, is also accessible by boat from Marmaris and boasts a large beach which is one of the best in the area. The water is clean, and there are good facilities nearby.
The bay of Ciftlik is accessible via a two hour boat journey from Icmeler. This once-isolated village and beach is now being developed for tourism, with a holiday village and hotels. It is especially favoured by sailors as a good spot for their yachts, and its course-grained sands and waterside restaurants are increasingly popular. The village has a small island within the bay, is also a favourite with jeep-faring safari tourists.
The 10-metre high waterfall is 35km from Marmaris and accessible from Turgut village via a 15-minute trek.
Best known and utilised for its yacht harbour, boat-building and repairs, the village of Bozburun has a stunning setting and is also famous for pine, flower and thyme honey. Its isolated location and peaceful atmosphere has attracted people escaping city life, and is especially popular with Turkish tourists. There are buses from Marmaris, 50km away, which makes a pleasant day trip, and there are many interesting walks in the surrounding countryside. Although there are no proper beaches, it is possible to swim off the rocks. There is a revered 1000-year old tree, one of the oldest in the country. The village gets more crowded during the International Bozburun Gullet Festival, 26 28 October.
The Gunluk Forest, with rarely seen species of plants, is 2km from Marmaris. Sigla oil, which is collected from the trees, is used in the pharmaceutical and perfume industry. The area is a natural promenade, with shallow waters.
This land, which is 8 km. away from province, had gained its "Counterfeit Strait" name after a ship captain who supposed here the strait which goes to bay at a stormy weather, ground of his ship. You should absolutely see this region, where there are wooden built Gulet shipyards.
A natural harbour, Marmaris Bay has three marinas with 1100 capacity, and nine yacht yards with 1200 capacity. Various festivals are organised in order to develop yacht tourism in the region, and the town is the focal point of Blue Voyages. The main activities are the International Yacht Festival during the second week of May, and the week-long International Marmaris Yacht Races at the end of October.
What to Eat
Famous dishes in the Marmaris region include surah, meat stuffed with rice, tarhana (soup made from dried yoghurt and tomato), and the local ice-cream. Many of these special dishes are eaten around Hiderellez, the Spring Feast.
What to Buy
Embroidery is one of the best local handicrafts in the area, made by the women and widely available. Copper and wooden decorations, jewellery and regionally designed clothes are sold in the shops along the harbour and inside the castle. One of the best places to buy the famous jam and honey is at the Friday Market, on the west side of town near the waterfront
Don\'t Leave Without
Jumping on board the Blue Tour, and exploring the coast;
Visiting Marmaris\'s beautiful outlying regions of Turuncu, Cennet Island, Bozburun, Turgut Selalesi, Yalanci Strait and Günnüce;
Learning about the history, and enjoying the views from Marmaris Museum;
Feasting on Marmaris tarhana, sura and ice-cream;
Wandering around the ruins of the ancient cities.
Source: Marmaris Municipality, Wikipedia
The road which turns to the South in the 72 nd kms from Antalya to Alanya, reaches to Side, one of the most famous tourism, after 6 kms. Side is located on a peninsula penetrating into the Mediterranean. It was one of the important civilizations and has become one of Turkey\'s major holiday centers with charming natural and historical heritage, great shopping facilities and enjoyable nightlife with quality restaurants, bars and discos.
The Bridged Canyon
Wonderful moments at the Bridged Canyon
Manavgat Waterfall flows exaltationly in all seasons.
Titreyen lake with its legent and magnificent view.
Aspendos has been the subject of legents with magnificient acoustic and the antique theatre for 15000 people.
Has become the mansions of traveller for years.
You arrive there by passing the south of Toros mountains after The Bridged Canyon.
The nature and the history are together in the antique city Side...
Typical Mediterranean climate with sunny summers and mild winters. Swimming April-November Average daytime temprature in summer is 28Cº and water 27Cº.
Source: Side Guide
History of Turkey
Originally inhabited by a variety of different peoples Hittites, Urartians, Phyrgians and Lydians Turkey, or Asia Minor as it was called during much of the pre-modern period, was, for over 1000 years, the heartland of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, with Constantinople as its capital. Founded by Constantine the Great in AD 330, Constantinople survived the collapse of the Western Empire in the fifth century. It was the capital from which the brilliant and enigmatic Emperor Justinian (527-565) launched his ambitious projects to reunite the old Roman Empire, the western provinces of which had been occupied by Germanic people from northern Europe. The Byzantine Empire, from the death of Justinian until its eventual fall in 1453, was engaged in a long retreat in the face of numerous enemies, mainly the forces of Islam. However, the Byzantines took advantage of the success of the First Crusade (1096-1100), whose armies re-took many Byzantine possessions in Asia Minor, Syria and Palestine, although, as later events were to prove, the interests of the Byzantines and of the Christian Crusader states in Palestine were not always identical.
The Byzantine State never fully recovered and on many occasions during the next three centuries, a final defeat was only prevented by the disunity of its enemies and particularly by the massive fortifications of the city of Constantinople. The conquest of Constantinople in 1204 the only time the fortifications were breached was followed by one of the most savage and rapacious sackings in the history of the world. The treasures of Byzantium were beyond count or value and many priceless works of art were removed to Europe (mainly to Venice) during this time.
The Byzantines set up a rival capital at Nicea, until Constantinople was retaken in 1261. By this time, however, the empire had effectively lost control of most of its territories and, by the 14th century, Byzantine control of Asia Minor was little more than an empty theory. From the 11th century onwards, the Asiatic area of Turkey known as Anatolia had also been affected by upheavals and conquests from the east. Successive invasions from Central Asia led to the Islamic Turkification of the region, the real power fast becoming the Ottomans\' a name derived from their 14th-century leader, Osman Gazi, who scored a decisive victory against the Byzantines at the Battle of Baphaeon in 1301.
The Ottomans steadily expanded their territorial control from Turkey itself, constructing the Ottoman Empire, which at its zenith in the mid-16th century a period associated with the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent covered southeast Europe (including the Balkans and Hungary), North Africa (as far as Morocco), the Crimea and Georgia, the Levant, Syria, Iraq and most of the Arabian peninsula. The most famous conquest, from a symbolic and strategic point of view, was that of Constantinople itself in 1453; with its fall, the Roman Empire, in a strictly legalistic sense, finally came to an end. The territorial ambitions of the Ottomans regarding control of the Mediterranean and Central Europe brought the empire into conflict with the major European powers of the day, particularly the Hapsburgs.
In the late-18th century, attempts were made by some rulers to reform the empire but to little effect. The diplomatic history of Central Europe in the early modern period is highly complex and the Ottoman Empire became increasingly a pawn and victim of the various power struggles. Its disintegration and the forces of nationalism unleashed as a consequence caused schisms and conflicts that linger to this day throughout southern Europe and the Middle East. Turkey was known as the sick man of Europe\' during this period.
Turkish history can thereafter be characterized a struggle between the forces of absolutism and reform. In 1914, the country became embroiled in World War I on the side of Germany. After Turkey ended the war on the losing side, most of the remaining Ottoman possessions came under British and French control with the support of the newly-formed League of Nations (forerunner of the United Nations). Defeated and discredited, the Ottoman dynasty was overthrown in 1923 by a revolutionary movement led by Mustafa Kemal - better known as Ataturk - who established a single-party republic and laid the foundations of modern Turkey.
Introduction to Anatolia
The history of Anatolia, the Turkish homeland is simply incredible. The world\'s oldest city was discovered, here, at Catal Hoyuk in 7500 BC. The Hittite Empire, little known in the west, rivaled that of ancient Egypt, and left behind captivating works of art.
The heartland of classical Hellenic culture is actually in Turkey, including cities such as Troy, Pergamum, Ephesus , Miletus and Halicarnassus. Most modern Turkish cities have a Roman past and all have a Byzantine one. The Seljuk Turkish Empire could boast of people like Omar Khayyam and Celaleddin Rumi, the poet, mystic and founder of the order of Whirling Dervishes. Turkey\'s history is astoundingly long, extending for almost 10,000 years
The Prehistoric Times
Paleolithic Age ( Old Stone Age ) ( 2 Million - 8000 BC )
Paleolithic Age, also known to be the old stone age, begins somewhere between 2 million years ago and ends 10.000 years before our time. This time period marks the beginning of the existence of the ancestors of man.
The early man in the Paleolithic age did not know to farm and raise crops but lived on picking up vegetables, fruit and on hunting. In search of the new food sources and to be able to hunt animals, he moved from place to place , and gathered in small groups. His dwelling was in rocky areas, under big rocks and in caves. In areas where this condition could not be met he made easy and primitive shelters out of wood. Around 40.000 BC he started making simple stone tools for hunting and protection purposes.
Between 40.000 and 10.000 is the glacial age on earth. Not being able to move much due to the climate, the primitive man utilized the skin of the animals that he hunted by successfully carved stones. To make clothes he used pins made out of bones and saw animal skin covers for himself. During this hard time of survival , he was able to discover and to control fire and by doing so he happened to have passed an important step in his development which helped him be separated from the animals. In this same period the earliest notion of the need to believe in an other world or in a mightier power can also be traced. In the graves that were dug for the dead as simple holes he left food by the side of the deceased and this is interpreted to be his faith in afterlife. To sum up, the hard conditions of life in the glacial age led the early man develop better socially and technically. The passage from the very primitive man, namely Home Neanderthal, to the ancestor of the modern man, namely Home Sapiens who is dated to between 10.000 and 8.000 may also be considered in this period.
In the last phases of the Paleolithic age the early man could make tools in order to make different new tools. The first works of art emerged in this era too: paintings made on cave the walls and various art objects such as low reliefs and figurines.The intellectual life of the man was beginning. Moreover, animal bones, teeth and shells the ornate objects demonstrate the first aesthetic concern in man.
The fact that in Paleolithic Age, the Asia Minor is extremely rich in fossils and fragments of human beings and animals, of stone, of bone and of vegetation, as well as of works of art reveals that Anatolian land was intensely inhabited during this period. The most important place in Anatolia where all the three phases; Upper, Middle and Lower in the Paleolithic Age can be seen, is the Karain Cave on the 30 km northwest of Antalya. In this respectively big cave, there are various living sections from each of the three phases of the Paleolithic Age. Among the finds are many carved stone and bone tools, moveable art objects, remains of the bones and teeth of Homo Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens, burnt and unburned animal and bread fossils. Karain cave in the Paleolithic Age is not a crucial excavation site only for Anatolia but also for the Near East. One can see some of these remains in the Museums of Karain, in Antalya and in Ankara Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.
Neolithic Age ( 8000 BC - 5000 BC )
This period reveals a new step in the history of mankind with the development of the established and settled societies and production of food. Anatolia once again gives the most comprehensive sites in the world for this age with Cayonu, Hacilar, Catalhoyuk and Koskhoyuk excavation sites.
The most advanced civilizations of this age, except Jericho, are in Anatolia. Catalhoyuk is the biggest town on earth with 6000 inhabitants.The houses in this town have entrance openings on the roof, there are small windows around the entrance hole. The citizens of this urban center eat wheat, lentils and other vegetables they grow in the plains and animals they hunt such as sheep, goat. They worship the mother goddess and the Taurus, symbol of fertility. The paintings, including the first landscape painting in history, reliefs on the walls, fine pottery they make are their most important artistic achievement. Women do their make-up in front of the mirror! Dogs are the only pets. Among the motifs used are geometrical designs, flowers, stars, circles and in some parts depictions of life as well as human hands, deities, human figures, hunting scenes, bulls, birds, vultures, leopards, wild deer and pigs, lions and bears. A depiction of the eruption of a volcanic mountain ( very likely, the Mount Hasan, near Cappadocia) is the oldest known scenery painting.
In Catalhoyuk, we can also trace the early stages of farming. This is also accompanied with the worship of the Mother Goddess along with the holy animal, the bull. The Mother Goddess stands for fertility and multiplication of man. In the excavations carried in Hacilar and Catalhoyuk, hundreds of Mother Goddess statutes have been found. She, with her sexual organs in exaggeration is almost always depicted nude and lies down in the postures of crouching, and specially in the process of birth-giving The fact that similarly designed Mother Goddess statues could also be found in the Near Eastern and Aegean cultures signifies the existence of matriarchal societies in these regions in the same time periods. The Goddess Kybele comes into sight around the 7000 BC. ( Most of the finds from this period are on display in Ankara Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.
As for Koskhoyuk; during the excavations carried by Ugur Silistre in Koskhoyuk, near Nigde, ornate pottery pieces and statues have been discovered.
The Cayonu settlement which is not far from the city of Diyarbakir has been unearthed by the expedition teams under the leadership of Cambel, Braidwood, Mehmet Ozdogan, Wulf Schirmen and it is dated back to 7250-6750 BC. In the middle of the settlement is a center and around it are monumental, rectangular structures and houses. The foundation of the structures is stone and above is sun-dried brick. The inhabitants of Cayonu are the first farmers of Anatolia. They raised sheep and goat, and domesticated dog. The woman figurines among the finds discovered are the earliest traces of the Mother Goddess cult.
The Hacilar Settlement, brought to the daylight by James Mellart, located on the 25 km southwest of Burdur, is dated back to 5700-5600 BC. The walls and the floors of Hacilar houses which are made of mud-brick on stone foundations are lime mortared and red painted. Wooden poles for supporting flat roofs and ladders to suggest that some structures had two stories are discovered. In every house, there are goddess figurines made of clay, in standing and sitting postures. Different from other settlement areas, the dead are buried outside the cities. The pottery in Hacilar is well fired and comes in red, brown and yellow colors.
Chalcholithic Age ( Copper Age) ( 5500-3000 BC)
In this period, in addition to stone tools copper pieces also come into sight. The need to change valuable goods (ceramics, textile) for both raw and shaped mines helped the trade develop, and this brought the exchange between peoples and the preparation of inventory listings with the beginning of communication. Symbols, hieroglyphs, writing with pictures, came into use. By the end of the 4000 BC cities emerged and the first steps of the human civilization were made.
One other important settlement area of the Chalcholithic period in Western Anatolia is the Beycesultan site, going back to 4000-3000 BC, located on the 5 km southeast of town of Civril in Denizli, excavated by Seton Lloyd. Here, some of the mud-brick structures with a rectangular plan look like long megaron houses (megaron is a long and narrow room that has a hearth in the center). Inside the structures are hearths, seats along the walls and storage. Here, in a pot, is discovered a collection of silver and copper rings, part of a dagger and metallic pins. The ceramic of this period has a background of gray, black and brown.
Canhasan site, on the 13 km northeast of Karaman town in Konya, unearthed by David French was a bridge between west and east Anatolia and Mesopotamia for trade and cultural exchange. Copper rings and bracelets are among the most important finds here. Anatolia which had the most advanced culture on earth during the Paleolithic period has lost its leadership in the Chalcolithic period to Mesopotamia and Egypt, after writing was discovered there Due to the fact that writing got to be used in Anatolia a thousands years later, the level of culture here could not go beyond that of Neolithic period primitive village, even though people were using metal in daily life .
Bronze Age ( 3000 - 1200 BC )
The Bronze period begins around 3000 in Anatolia, around 2500 in the Aegean and Crete, around 2000 in Europe. Bronze is obtained by mixing copper and tin ( % 90 copper, % 10 tin). In this period apart from bronze tools other kinds such as copper, gold and electron, which is an alloy of natural gold and silver are also produced for using in religious ceremonies. The people in this period lived in cities surrounded with fortification walls. Houses are built in rectangular shapes on stone foundations with sundried brick walls and. Agriculture, animal husbandry, merchandise and mine production are the means of life.
Alacahoyuk, 67 km to Yozgat city and 3 hours away from Ankara is the most advanced settlement area in Anatolia from this period. The rich graves discovered here are in shapes of regular stone rooms. The dead is put in the center of these rooms with gifts, in a posture that the knees are pulled up to the belly ( hocker position). Sacrificed and presented during the ceremony, bull heads and feet are left on top of the roofs. Goats and sheep are also sacrificed. They might have been served to the attendants at the funeral. The graves are thought to be used for many generations. Most of the gifts are composed of gold, silver, electron, bronze objects and decorative items such as diadems, necklaces, hairpins, bracelets, earrings made of precious stones like amber, rock crystal, etc. Bronze and gold weapons, sun discs, deer and bull figurines, goddess statues of religious services are invaluable works of art discovered here. For the first time in this period do we find bronze spear heads in Anatolia. They resemble very much to their counterparts in Mesopotamia and Syria which is an interesting point.
Another important place in the bronze age is Troy, Level 1. dated back to 2900-2500 BC. This first city in Troy, now partly unearthed is wrapped up with a 90 meter wall. Houses are in megaron type again and the entrances are from the narrow sides. Walls are stone and set in the herring bone pattern. Troy, Level 2. is dated back to 2500-2000 BC. It is built on top of Troy Level 1. The inhabitants of this level come from the Aegean and Balkans like those of the first level. It is also surrounded with walls but this time they are 20 meters longer. The expedition team uncovered a royal residence that belongs to a king on one of the hilltops. Heinrich Schlieman, the German businessman who dug the Trojan mound in 1870, discovered a treasury at this level of Troy 2. Knowing Homer\'s Iliad by heart, he was in search of King Priamos\'s treasury and for years he believed the treasury he had discovered at the site was so. In the last years of his life, however, he was going to learn that the treasury actually belonged to a different level, the level 2, thus, to a different time period.
Enduring political unification of Anatolia was achieved by the HITTITES, an Indo-European confederation that subdued the kingdoms of the central plateau about 1750 BC. They established the Old Hittite Kingdom, eventually ruling from BOGAZKOY (Hattusa). The confederation, whose chief members were Luwians, Palaites, and Neshites, entered Anatolia from Europe well before 2000 BC. For the first century and a half, the Old Hittite Kingdom was internally strong and militarily secure. Under Hattusilis I (fl. c. 1560 BC) the Hittite kingdom began to expand into northwest Syria. His adopted son, Mursilis I (fl. c. 1620 BC), raided down the Euphrates Valley and defeated Babylon (c. 1600 BC). Thereafter the kingdom struggled under a series of internal coups and royal assassinations until stability was reestablished by Telepinus I (c. 1525 BC). About 70 years later came the second major phase of Hittite political and military power.
The Hittite Empire period was inaugurated by Tudhaliyas II (fl. c. 1460 BC), but its chief architect was Suppiluliumas I (r. c. 1380-1346 BC), who reconquered much of central Anatolia and dominated Syria and the state of Mitanni in eastern Anatolia. Hittite successes made them a major player in the international intrigues of the day and brought them into deadly rivalry with the Egyptian empire to the south for control of Syria and Palestine. A major battle between the Hittites under Muwattalis (r. c. 1315-1296 BC) and the Egyptian king Rameses II was fought at Kadesh on the Orontes River c. 1300 BC, victory going to the Hittites. A peace treaty between the two powers was concluded between RAMESES II and Hattusilis III (r. c. 1289-1265). Thereafter, serious disruptions occurred in Anatolia, and the Hittite vassals and allies in the west attempted to gain independence. Finally, invasions of SEA PEOPLES from the Aegean and attacks by mountainous Gashga peoples destroyed Hittite power in Anatolia (c. 1200 BC).
After the Hittite state\'s collapse, Anatolia had no political centrality or cohesion for nearly half a millennium. Archaeological evidence suggests the reestablishment of small principalities in the area. Textual evidence is sparse. Assyrian records recount an invasion (c. 1160) of Assyria\'s western borders by a large force of "Mushki," perhaps ancestors of the later Phrygians. In reaction, Assyrian armies sought first to move into southeastern Anatolia, and thereafter beyond the Euphrates, where they encountered the Neo-Hittite (Syro-Hittite) kingdoms, some 16 of which occupied the region between the Taurus Mountains and the Euphrates. Monuments from these states reveal a dialect written in "Hittite hieroglyphics," which suggests a clear cultural and population connection with Hittite Anatolia. Incursions of Aramaen nomads into Syria, and inevitable Assyrian reaction to these, spelled the demise of the Syro-Hittite kingdoms as independent states by the 8th century BC.
In mountainous eastern Anatolia the state of URARTU, in its turn, was defeated by the Syrians in 743 BC. In western Anatolia, Phrygians had arrived from southeastern Europe perhaps earlier than the Trojan War (c. 1190 BC). By the 8th century BC they had created a state (PHRYGIA) with its capital at GORDION, southwest of modern Ankara. On Anatolia\'s western coast, Lycians, Carians, and Mysians, probably descendants of peoples known to the classical Hittites, inhabited defined areas. By the 6th century BC, LYDIA had emerged as the region\'s dominant state. The fall of Assyria in 612 BC, and of Babylon in 539 BC, left the field open to the Persians who, after Cyrus the Great\'s victory over CROESUS of Lydia in 546 BC, incorporated Anatolia into their empire.
After the Persians crushed rebellious Ionian (Greek) cities in western Anatolia (494 BC), they launched two unsuccessful invasions of Greece. During the 5th and 4th centuries BC, Persia meddled in Greek affairs from its bases in Anatolia. The rise of PHILIP II of Macedonia and his son, ALEXANDER THE GREAT, (mid-4th century BC), initiated a victorious Pan-Hellenic crusade that destroyed the Persian Empire. After Alexander\'s death a number of independent states emerged in Anatolia--among them BITHYNIA, CAPPADOCIA, PERGAMUM, and PONTUS--all of which were eventually absorbed by the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Out of Pergamum, the Romans formed the province of Asia, which included LYCIA, Caria, Mysia, and Phrygia.
The Byzantian EMPIRE
In the year 395, when the Roman emperor Theodosum I divided the empire and placed his son Arcadius at the head of the Eastern side and his other son Honorius on the throne of the Western side, he could not have known what kinds of effects this action was to have on the future. The Western Roman Empire, with Honorius at its head, was to have a short life. The Easter Roman Empire, however, was to last almost one thousand years until it was finally put to an end by the Ottoman Empire Mehmet II when he conquered the city of Istanbul in 1453.
The city of Byzantium was chosen to be the capitol of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Sixty-five years later, however, the name of the city was changed to Constantinople in honour of its founder, Constantine. Even though this radical change was made in the concept of the empire, the Byzantines always referred to themselves during their one thousand yearlong histories as the Roman Empire and their nation as the Nation of Rome. After the collapse of the empire, however, historians began to refer to this empire as the "Byzantine" Empire and so it is remembered today. This empire began in 330 and lasted until 1453, for 1123 years. A struggle between Moslems and Christians began to arise in the Middle Ages. Those warriors known as the Crusaders were the most concrete example of the struggle between these two major religious beliefs.
The most important change made when the Roman Empire evolved into the Byzantine was the change in religion. While Rome was a polytheistic society, the Byzantines accepted monotheism as the basis for their religious belief. The second greatest change that occurred in the empire was the change in language. The Roman Empire used a number of languages, but Latin was the official language of its government. Latin was used increasingly less after the founding of Byzantium and Greek began to take its place as the official language. Naturally, this change also brought with it major political changes
The Byzantine Empire began with the Emperor Constantine who reigned for thirteen years; a total of 88 emperors were to reign during the course of the empire. These emperors came from various family lines. The leading groups were from Heraclion, Syria, Phrygia, Macedonia, Commenos, Angelos, and Palaiologos. Although the Byzantines began their empire with a vast territory of land inherited from the Roman Empire, they soon lost the territories around the Northern and Eastem Mediterranean and they became an empire with generally Aegean territory. By the time of the collapse of the Empire, Byzantium merely consisted of the city of Istanbul and its immediate surrounds.
THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE
The Ottomans are one of the greatest and most powerful civilizations of the modern period. Their moment of glory in the sixteenth century represents one of the heights of human creativity, optimism, and artistry. The empire they built was the largest and most influential of the Muslim empires of the modern period, and their culture and military expansion crossed over into Europe. Not since the expansion of Islam into Spain in the eighth century had Islam seemed poised to establish a European presence as it did in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Like that earlier expansion, the Ottomans established an empire over European territory and established Islamic traditions and culture that last to the current day (the Muslims in Bosnia are the last descendants of the Ottoman presence in Europe).
"The Ottoman state rose to become a world empire, which lasted from the late 13th century to 1923. Like that of the Habsburgs, its eventual rival, the Ottoman Empire was dynastic; its territories and character owed little to national, ethnic or religious boundaries, and were determined by the military and administrative power of the dynasty at any particular time. The Ottomans attempted to bring as much territory as possible into the Islamic fold. The non-Muslims living in these areas were then absorbed into the Empire as protected subjects."
When Genghis Khan\'s hordes appeared in Europe, only to vanish again, and after their survivors, the Turkish Mamelukes, had settled in Egypt, newcomers, also from the high plateaus of Central Asia, appeared on the borders of the Empire of Rum. Unlike their predecessors, they were neither distinguished nor numerous so that there arrival went almost unnoticed.
At their head was valiant warrior called Ertughrul (or Tughril, 1231-1280). He was accompanied by his son Osman (or Othman, 1280-1324). His armies were only a tiny twig from the giant tree of the Turkish people. There were hardly more than two thousand of them living in four hundred tents. But these two thousand men were possessed of such drive that in a few generations they were to found one of the world\'s greatest empires.
As tradition has it, on crossing the Central Anatolian Plateau, Ertughrul one day spied a cloud of dust on the horizon. It had risen from the battle near Eskic;ehir - formerly Dorylaion - which a Seljuk detachment was fighting against Mongol invaders. Ertughrul took an historic decision, although probably unaware of what its consequences would be. He resolved to intervene in the battle, thus enabling the apparently losing side to win. That day the Ottomans saved the Empire of Rum.
Bayazid\'s achievement was short-lived; his army was destroyed at Ankara in 1402 by Timur (Tamerlane), the last of the Mongol invaders to reach as far west as Anatolia. There followed an eleven-year hiatus between 1402 and 1413, when the Balkan states and the Anatolian emirates took advantage of the opportunity provided by the Mongol victory to shake off Ottoman rule, although further Mongol advance ceased after Timur\'s death in 1405.
The reconstruction of the Ottoman state by Mehmed I (1413-21) and the revival of the conquests in the reign of his son Murad (1421-51) again brought most of eastern and central Anatolia and the southern and eastern Balkans under direct or indirect Ottoman control. However, Ottoman rule in the Balkans was far less oppressive than the system it superseded, in which feudal dues and compulsory labour services weighed heavily upon the peasantry; in consequence, the Ottomans were often welcomed as deliverers. The rounding off of these conquests, and the emergence of the Ottoman state as a world power, was the work of Mehmed n al-Fatih, The Conqueror (1451-81), whose conquest of Constantinople in 1453 removed the last major barrier to expansion into northern Anatolia and enabled the Ottomans to dominate the Straits and the southern shore of the Black Sea.
Aside from scattered outposts in Greece, all that remained of the Byzantine Empire was its capital, Constantinople. Cut off by land since 1365, the city, despite long periods of truce with the Turks, was supplied and reinforced by Venetian traders who controlled its commerce by sea. On becoming sultan in 1444, Mehmet II (r. 1444-46, 1451-81) immediately set out to conquer the city. The military campaigning season of 1453 commenced with the fifty-day siege of Constantinople, during which Mehmet II brought warships overland on greased runners into the Bosporus inlet known as the Golden Horn to bypass the chain barrage and fortresses that had blocked the entrance to Constantinople\'s harbor. On May 29, the Turks fought their way through the gates of the city and brought the siege to a successful conclusion.
Selim I\'s son, Süleyman I (r. 1520-66), was called the "lawgiver" (kanuni ) by his Muslim subjects because of a new codification of seriat undertaken during his reign. In Europe, however, he was known as Süleyman the Magnificent, a recognition of his prowess by those who had most to fear from it. Belgrade fell to Süleyman in 1521, and in 1522 he compelled the Knights of Saint John to abandon Rhodes. In 1526 the Ottoman victory at the Battle of Mohács led to the taking of Buda on the Danube. Vienna was besieged unsuccessfully during the campaign season of 1529. North Africa up to the Moroccan frontier was brought under Ottoman suzerainty in the 1520s and 1530s, and governors named by the sultan were installed in Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. In 1534 Mesopotamia was taken from Persia. The latter conquest gave the Ottomans an outlet to the Persian Gulf, where they were soon engaged in a naval war with the Portuguese.
When Süleyman died in 1566, the Ottoman Empire was a world power. Most of the great cities of Islam--Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Damascus, Cairo, Tunis, and Baghdad--were under the sultan\'s crescent flag. The Porte exercised direct control over Anatolia, the sub-Danubian Balkan provinces, Syria, Palestine, and Mesopotamia. Egypt, Mecca, and the North African provinces were governed under special regulations, as were satellite domains in Arabia and the Caucasus, and among the Crimean Tartars. In addition, the native rulers of Wallachia, Moldavia, Transylvania, and Ragusa (Dubrovnik) were vassals of the sultan.
The Ottomans had always dealt with the European states from a position of strength. Treaties with them took the form of truces approved by the sultan as a favor to lesser princes, provided that payment of tribute accompanied the settlement. The Ottomans were slow to recognize the shift in the military balance to Europe and the reasons for it. They also increasingly permitted European commerce to penetrate the barriers built to protect imperial autarky. Some native craft industries were destroyed by the influx of European goods, and, in general, the balance of trade shifted to the disadvantage of the empire, making it in time an indebted client of European producers.
Some of the Historians blame someone Selim II (1566-1574), the son of Suleiyman I for the decline of the Ottoman Empire,. It\'s clear that Selim was the first disinterested Sultan among the Ottomans. Addicted to sexual and alcholic pleasures, Selim, known in Islamic history as "Selim the Drunkard," retired almost completely from the decision-making and administrative apparatus of the Ottoman state.
The process of the Sultan\'s disengagement with government actually began with Suleiyman. Towards the end of his life, weary, tired, and broken by the executions of his two favorite sons, Suleyman withdrew into his great Topkapi palace and handed the reigns of government over to his Grand Vezir . This was the model that his son would follow. In addition, however, Suleiyman abandoned with his son Selim a tradition among the Ottoman Sultans: raising his child to become Sultan. The sons of the Sultan were expected to participate in government and military training and campaigns; only this period of apprenticeship would make them worthy of the Sultanate. Suleiyman had done this with his older children, particularly Mustafa. But Mustafa and Bayazid betrayed him. Selim, then, lived a very isolated existence in the harem of Topkapi palace. He was not trained in government or military affairs, so there was little reason for him to take any interest in them.
Selim II reigned for only eight years, but he set the precedent for Ottoman rule for the next two centuries and the great Empire, the great Caliphate that stood as a lion before the advancing mercantile and military expansion against Europe, slowly crumbled under European pressure.
During the eighteenth century, the Ottoman Empire was almost continuously at war with one or more of its enemies--Persia, Poland, Austria, and Russia. War with Russia, in fact, dominates the Ottoman scene from much of the eighteenth century; the two states clashed on 1711, between 1768 and 1774, and again between 1787 and 1792. In all these wars of the eighteenth century, there were no clear victors or losers. Under the humiliating terms of the Treaty of Kuchuk-Kaynarja that ended the Russo-Ottoman War of 1768-74, the Porte abandoned the Tartar khanate in the Crimea, granted autonomy to the Trans-Danubian provinces, allowed Russian ships free access to Ottoman waters, and agreed to pay a large war indemnity.
The Emergence of Peter the Great
Peter the Great created a new nation, no less expansionist in character than the Ottoman Empire. Since 1689 Tsar at Moscow, Peter the Great had embarked on a policy of seeking "access to the seas". In the north this meant the "cold seas": the Baltic and the Golf of Finland. On that coast he founded a city which was to become his new capital, St Petersburg. In the south this meant the "warm seas": the Sea of Asov and the Black Sea, with an eye to the Mediterranean. This of course meant taking Constantinople.
During his campaigns in the north, Peter the Great had incurred the enmity of the Swedes. The King of Sweden, Carl XII, invaded Russia but was defeated by the Russians at Poltava in 1709. To escape being taken prisoner Carl XII sought asylum in Turkey together with Mazeppa the Commander-in-Chief of the Cossacks, who had taken his side. Carl XII, whom the Turks called "Demirbachly" (Iranhead), and Mazeppa were granted asylum by Sultan Ahmed III (1703-1730). Through his ambassador, Tolstoy, Peter the Great demanded that they\'d be extradited. Ahmed III refused and declared proudly that "such a notion was an infringement of the sacred right to hospitality, which had always been law in Islamic countries". Since the Russians insisted, Ahmed III had Ambassador Tolstoy thrown into the "Prison of the Seven Towers" (Yedikule) at Constantinople. That meant war in 1711.
The repressive policies of Abdül Hamid II fostered disaffection, especially among those educated in Europe or in Westernized schools. Young officers and students who conspired against the sultan\'s regime coalesced into small groups, largely outside Istanbul. One young officer, Mustafa Kemal (later known as Atatürk), organized a secret society among fellow officers in Damascus and, later, in Thessaloniki (Salonika) in present-day Greece. Atatürk\'s group merged with other nationalist reform organizations in 1907 to form the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). Also known as the Young Turks, this group sought to restore the 1876 constitution and unify the diverse elements of the empire into a homogeneous nation through greater government centralization under a parliamentary regime.
In July 1908, army units in Macedonia revolted and demanded a return to constitutional government. Appearing to yield, Abdül Hamid II approved parliamentary elections in November in which the CUP won all but one of the Turkish seats under a system that allowed proportional representation of all millets . The Young Turk government was weakened by splits between nationalist and liberal reformers, however, and was threatened by traditionalist Muslims and by demands from non-Turkish communities for greater autonomy. Abdül Hamid II was forced to abdicate and was succeeded by his brother, Mehmet V, in 1909. Foreign powers took advantage of the political instability in Istanbul to seize portions of the empire. Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina immediately after the 1908 revolution, and Bulgaria proclaimed its complete independence. Italy declared war in 1911 and seized Libya. Having earlier formed a secret alliance, Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bulgaria invaded Ottoman-held Macedonia and Thrace in October 1912. Ottoman forces were defeated, and the empire lost all of its European holdings except part of eastern Thrace.
The disasters befalling the empire led to internal political change. The liberal government in power since July 1912 was overthrown in January 1913 in a coup engineered by Enver Pasha, and the most authoritarian elements of the Young Turk movement gained full control. A second Balkan war broke out in June 1913, when the Balkan allies began fighting among themselves over the division of the spoils from the first war. Taking advantage of the situation, Ottoman forces turned on Bulgaria, regaining Edirne and establishing the western boundary of the empire at the Maritsa River.
The Ottoman empire lasted until the twentieth century. While historians like to talk about empires in terms of growth and decline, the Ottomans were a force to be reckoned with, militarily and culturally, right up until the break-up of the empire in the first decades of this century. The real end to the Ottoman culture came with the secularization of Turkey after World War II along European models of government. The transition to a secular state was not an easy one and its repercussions are still being felt in Turkish society today; nevertheless, secularization represents the real break with the Ottoman tradition and heritage.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Born in Thessaloniki in 1881, Atatürk was the son of a minor government official in a city where Turks outnumbered Greeks. His ardent Turkish nationalism dated from his early days as a cadet in the military school at Monastir (in the present-day Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) during a time of constant conflict between Ottoman troops and Macedonian guerrillas, who attacked the Turkish population in the region. Following graduation from the military academy in Istanbul, Atatürk held various staff positions and served in garrisons at Damascus and Thessaloniki, where he became involved in nationalist activities. He took part in the coup that forced Abdül Hamid II\'s abdication in 1909. Atatürk organized irregular forces in Libya during the war with Italy in 1911 and subsequently held field commands in the two Balkan wars (1912-13). Assigned to a post in the Ministry of War after the armistice, Atatürk quickly recognized the extent of Allied intentions toward the Ottoman Empire.
Emerging as a military hero at the Dardanelles in 1915, he became the charismatic leader of the Turkish national liberation struggle in 1919. He blazed across the world scene in the early 1920s as a triumphant commander who crushed the invaders of his country. Following a series of impressive victories against all odds, he led his nation to full independence. He put an end to the antiquated Ottoman dynasty whose tale had lasted more than six centuries - and created the Republic of Turkey in 1923, establishing a new government truly representative of the nation\'s will
As President for 15 years, until his death in 1938, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk introduced a broad range of swift and sweeping reforms - in the political, social, legal, economic, and cultural spheres - virtually unparalleled in any other country.
His achievements in Turkey are an enduring monument to Atatürk. Emerging nations admire him as a pioneer of national liberation. The world honors his memory as a foremost peacemaker who upheld the principles of humanism and the vision of a united humanity. Tributes have been offered to him through the decades by such world statesmen as Lloyd George, Churchill, Roosevelt, Nehru, de Gaulle, Adenauer, Bourguiba, Nasser, Kennedy, and countless others. A White House statement, issued on the occasion of " The Atatürk Centennial " in 1981, pays homage to him as " a great leader in times of war and peace ". It is fitting that there should be high praise for Atatürk, an extraordinary leader of modern times, who said in 1933: " I look to the world with an open heart full of pure feelings and friendship ".
Turkish language, member of the Turkic subdivision of the Altaic subfamily of the Ural-Altaic family of languages.Turkish is the official language of Turkey and one of the official languages of Cyprus. It is spoken by about 80 million people in Turkey and another million in Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, and Macedonia. The speech of educated people in Istanbul is the standard form of the language. Like the other Uralic and Altaic languages, Turkish is characterized by vowel harmony and agglutination. Thus suffixes added to the stem of the verb may indicate passive, reflexive, causative, and other meanings. Postpositions are used instead of prepositions. Both the definite article and grammatical gender are lacking. Turkish was written in the Arabic script following the conversion of the Turks to Islam, but in 1928 the Turkish president, Kemal Atatürk, ordered a change to a modified version of the Roman alphabet. The reform was designed to introduce an alphabet better suited to Turkish than the Arabic script and also to lessen the hold of Islam on Turkey. In the 1930s the Turks attempted to purify their language by eliminating words of foreign, especially Persian and Arabic, origin and to simplify the literary style of the language, making it more similar to colloquial Turkish .
TURKISH MUSIC CULTURE
Turkey\'s cultural fabric is made up of a rich combination of diverse cultures rooted deeply in history. By virtue of its geographical position, Turkey lies at the axis of the cultures of the East, the West, the Middle Eastern, the Mediterranean and Islam. Anatolia is one of the world\'s oldest human habitats hosts of civilizations have called it home and it enjoys a unique cultural richness with its thousands of years of history. Anatolia\'s cultural variety is so rich that we can see great cultural differences even in areas geographically quite close to each other.
This colorful portrait holds just as true for Turkey\'s music.
We can categorize the types of music heard through the years of Anatolia\'s long history into three groups:
The Concept of Traditional Music: This is generally music that is created in a common manner, has continued from the time of its production right down to the present day, is popular and frequently played and recited in its region and by local people, and is usually anonymous.
In Turkey, music that conforms to the above definition, which is produced by and located in a settled culture and which has thereby become traditional, can be classified as either religious\' or secular.\' These can also be considered under the headings Folk/Local Music\' and Ottoman Music.\' These two groups have many features in common, and can be classified as either instrumental\' or with lyrics.\'
Modern Turkish Classical Music
Western influence had already begun to be felt in Ottoman music towards the middle of the 19th century. These increased towards the end of the century, and led to efforts to change Ottoman music from monodic to polyphonic.
With the declaration of the republic in 1923, Cemal Resid (REY), who was then studying music in Europe, returned to Turkey and began to teach at a music school established in Istanbul. At the same time, a number of talented young people were sent by the republic to various cities in Europe to study music. After they returned to Turkey, the group that would later be called Türk Besleri\' (the Turkish Five) and which prepared the groundwork for Modern Polyphonic Turkish Music, emerged. The common aim of the group was to use the traditional themes of traditional Turkish music together with the values of Western classical music that they had studied to produce a new polyphonic structure. In later stages, every composer who amed at a more contempoirary sound interpreted the colours and mystery of popular melody in his own way, and instead of merely treating well-known popular melodies they began to achieve syntheses by means of abstraction.
The Turkish Five consisted of; Cemal Resit REY, Ulvi Cemal ERKIN, Hasan Ferit ALNAR, Ahmet Adnan SAYGUN and Necil Kazim AKSES. Later, others produced and are still producing works in the same field, including; Nuri Sami KORAL, Kemal ILERICI, Ekrem Zeki ÜN and Bülent TARCAN of the second generation, Sabahattin KALENDER, Nevit KODALLI, Ferit TÜZÜN, Ilhan USMANBAS, Bülent AREL and Ilhan MIMAROGLU of the third, and Muammer SUN, Cenan AKIN, Cengiz TANÇ, Kemal SÜNDER, Ilhan BARAN, Yalçin TURA and Ali Dogan SINANGIL of the fourth. An increasing number of other composers after that last generation continue to write works. The current number has now reached around 60.
Popular music is to a large extent produced by the consumer generation, or even if not later came on to take on many of those characteristics, and takes its form from the criteria of its own particular sectoral features, in such a way that the values that comprise those criteria are not based on the preferences of the culture of any one section of society, and thus is a form that to a large extent brings together different cultures. In the same way that Europe has seen an industrialised society, the increase in artistic products related to popular culture and their increasing spread in all sections of society, and the efforts towards industrialisation in Turkey and the concomittant rise in urbanisation, have all led to an independent popular cultural atmosphere in society. The basic values that the wide community in which popular culture is influential expects from artistic endeavours can be summed up as easy to understand and comprehend and requiring no great depth, thus calling for no great debate. In Turkey, the products of popular culture have lent colour to the last quarter of the 20th century in particular, and as objects, or from the visual point of view, have called to a wide constituency.
Rapidly changing and progressing cultural formations lead to a suitable environment for the emergence of such products as the artistic works of popular culture. In Turkey, popular culture and the music belonging to it are spreading in this environment with great rapidity in all sections of community. By 2000 it had become powerful enough to respond to the musical tastes of just about all of society.
Short satirical, witty or barbed tales describing events from daily life in a lively manner and intended to draw a conclusion from what has been related.
EXAMPLES OF ANECDOTES
A man came to Nasreddin Hoca when he was serving as governor.
I want to ask you something,\' he said.
Go ahead,\' Nasreddin Hoca replied.
The other day, a cow that your neighbours said belonged to you kiled one of my cows. What should I do?\'
Nasreddin Hoca pulled at his beard and thought for a bit. You\'re not going to bring charges against the animal, are you? And it\'s not his owner\'s fault. There is no way he could have known what was going to happen.
The man smiled, and replied. Excuse me, I made a mistake. It was not my cow that died, but yours.\'
Nasreddin Hoca jumped up. That\'s different,\' he said. In that case, hand me down that legal book and let\'s have a look!\'
The Chief of Police\'s Donkey
The chief of police\'s donkey was lost, and he was furious.
You had better find my animal quickly!\' he shouted. Everyone was in a terrible panic. The people of Aksehir went in all directions to find the missing donkey. Some of them met Nasreddin Hoca on the way.
Please help us,\' they begged. If you see a stray donkey anywhere, grab it.\'
Whose is the donkey?\'
The chief of police\'s\' they replied.
Nasreddin Hoca said he would keep an eye out, and went on his way singing.
A villager asked him why he was singing, and he replied that he was looking for the chief of police\'s donkey.
How does singing help you to find a donkey?\' the villager enquired.
Of course you need to keep your spirits up if you are sent to look for a donkey,\' he answered. especially if it belongs to the chief of police!\'
Why He Sat On The Donkey Backwards
One day, Nasreddin Hoca was riding home from the mosque on his donkey, and there was a large crowd behind him. Suddenly, he got off, and got on again backwards, facing the animal\'s tail. The people naturally asked him what he was doing.
He replied: I thought about it, and decided to ride my donkey like this, because I have no time for disrespect. If you move ahead of me, then you will be turning your back on me. That would be terrible disrespect. If I go on ahead, I will be turning my back on you, and that is also quite unacceptable. This way, I can go on ahead of you and you can follow behind, and we can still keep looking at each other!\'
I Found The Pitch
Nasreddin Hoca was given a saz, a kind of stringed instrument, to keep him busy at a family gathering.
Play us a pretty tune!\' they told him.
Nasreddin Hoca began to run his fingers over the strings at random, making an odd noise.
Hoca!\' they said, is that any way to play the saz? You need to find the pitch and play properly.\'
Nasreddin Hoca kept making a terrible noise, and replied: My hands can\'t find the pitch, but they are looking for it. Now I have found one, so there is no need to go on looking.\'
Folk economy is one of the main components of popular culture, and also plays a major role in cultural structure.
In rural parts of Anatolia, economic life mostly depends on agriculture and livestock raising.
The term folk economy refers to all the various ways in which people try to make a living. Altough popularly regarded as a single factor, in fact, it covers the whole of social life, including even folk architecture or beliefs, and directly shapes social structure.
Beekeeping, activities in mountain pastures, migration, hunting and handicrafts are supplementary parts of the folk economy.
The folk economy also influences popular beliefs, as in the examples below:
- Seed sowing must be carried out in April. Approximately one month before
sowing, the different seeds are taken from the house and placed in the garden. (In order for the crop to be plentiful)
- People do not give seeds to their neighbours before they sow their own gardens. (It is
believed that this will protect the prosperity of the household)
- The seeds of sweet-tasting foods are put in the garden first, and hot and bitter-tasting food seeds
are put in after. (in order to make the year sweet and peaceful)
- Woman do not sow seeds or plant young trees if they are menstruating. (In order for the crop to be plentiful)
- Ribbons of different colors are tied to cows\' tails. (In order to masintain the cow\'s milk output)
- Old people go outside their houses when it is hailing, shake to the noise of the thunder and shout: Let my churn be speedy
- During, and three days before religious festivals, people do not cut branches off trees, since they believe that the branches are performing their ritual prayers.
- People let their oxen enter the house on New Year\'s Eve. If the ox enters the house with its right hoof first, it is believed that whole year will be plentiful.
- On New Year\'s Eve, women throw beans at the walls. (In order to live in prosperity)
- People come together and pray for rain. If there is too much rain, however, then they pray together for it to stop.
- Anyone who draws water from a fountain on New Year\'s morning is believed to become rich.
-A few days before New Year, mills are prepared and all flour pots are filled. It is believed that if the pots are full on New Year\'s Day they will remain full for the rest of the year.